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,^ ... -^'*'^!i«?f»^=S!«*? 


HowelFs State Trials. 


S4 & S5 GEORGE III A.D. 1794. 


<" : -■■•:•- • ••• - - 







T. B. HOWELL, Esq. F.R.S. F.S.A. 







34. * 35 GEORGE III A. D. 1794. 


PruUed hy T. C. Hansard, Peterborough-Court, FUet-Street t 


r ''!;W:^Hf? 





GOS. Trial of DAVID DOWNIE for High Treason; at a Special 
Commission of Oyer and Terminer^ holden at Edinburgh Sep- 
tember 5th and 6th : 84 Giobok IIL a. d. 17d4> • 1 

6M. The Trial of THOMAS HARDT for High Treason, before the 
Court holden under a Special Commission of Oyer and Ter- 
mmcr, at the Sessions House in the Old Bailey, on the 28th, 
29th, dOth, and 81st days of October, and the 1st, 8d, 4th, 
and 5th days of Norember: 85 Gioaai lU. a. d. 1794 19^^ 


Vol. XXIV. 

p. 90Sy 1. 15 from ike hatUm^for design, to read design to. 

p. S59, 1. 33, to the word ** treason," should he affixed the following Note : — As to which, see 
in this Collection the cases of Lord Strafford, Vol. 3, p. 1381 ; of Peter 
Messenger and others. Vol. 6, p. 879 ; of Daniel Dammaree and others, 
VoJ. 15, p. 591 ; and, of Lord George Gordon, Vol. «1, p. 485. 

p. S56, /aft line but one^or laws read law. 

PL 660, iaU line^ jfor pp, 104, 108, read pp. 231, et seq. ed of 1817. 

p. &I5, line 19» J'or rember read rememuer. 

p. 8^7, /. ^3, J'ratn the bottom^ for doos read does. 

p. 810, last line but onCyfor belonged read belonging. 

p 919, lest line bnU three, dele see. 

p. 106 ly line 4, .A"* unanimity. rea</ unanimity : 

f I061y imti One but one, /or Debates, renij Debate. 


Trial of David Downie* for High Treason; at a Special 1 
CommUsion of Oyer and Terminer, holden at Edinburgh^ 
September 5th and 6th : 34 George IIL A. o. 1794.t 

Mi^^kta^h Friday, Septmhir 5th, 1794. 

^ r i Pre^iident, Lord Chif f Baron 

of i, Lord Eskgrove, Mr. Baron 

fiorton, ijora ^wtnton, Lord Dimsmnan. 

Cemmut/ar ikt Crowity—Thc Lord AdvocaU, 
■ "^ " :itOf Genenl, Mr. Anstruther, Mr* 

I- — Mr* Warr^ndcr, 
If €IiMiu£/ /or tht Primner. — Mr. Cnllen, Mr. 

iCkft, Mr Fletcher to assist 
|j(i««r Mr. John Dttlon. 

\ Ckrk tff ijrruif HI.— Vou, the prisoner at 

' btr^ f he^** i,'*rtKl nu'n that you shall hear 

fsUedf and 3)ipear^ are to pass be- 

tween fitir Vortl Ihc king ain) you, 

«|PQ» tJ*r tf I ifc and death ; if, ihere- 

iJie, jroQ ^^ i^e them, your time is to 

•peak witiF tui^TD \\s they come to the book to 

re thein called as follows: 
--Pritontr^ I challenge him. 
^Pti$, I challenge h'mi, 
ifk^^Pris. I challenge him. 

li?r. — Prii, I challenge him. 
— Pri%, I rh^llen^e hira, 
:i- — Pri%. I ' ' him. 

L — iViY I him. 

^Prh. I lij.Hjrii-f iiim, 
— Frii, I challenge him. 
'"^" — Prit. I chaTtengc him. 
(of Queen Street in the 

liace^ — Priv, I challenge him. 
1,— Prif, I challenge him. 

m Ibc case of Robert Watt in the prc- 

; VoJumep, 1167. 

■kco mHhort-hand by Mr. Blanchard. 
Ibift emae uiother, but imperfect^ account 
VM MiMMiMd Mmilar tn tfmt of Watt's trial, 
vbini Iteft slfeaidy hern noticed^ ante^ Vol, S3. 
^ IHIT. 

John Scougall» — Prw. I cha;llenge hrm. 
John Horner, — Pri*. [ challenge him, 
Tho. Hutchinson, — J'ris. I challenge him. J 
Archibald Campbell,^ iV is. I challenge him, 
George Kinnear,— Pri>. I challenge hint* 

2. Wi^lliani Frxser (of Kirk brae head in lhe< 

Earish of 8t. Cuthbert*9, of the county of £di»>^ 
urgh) was sworn, 

John Andrew, — Pris. I challenge him, 
William L:Lmb, — Pri$, 1 challenge him. 

3. Wilham Fettes (of Princes-street, in th*^ 
city of Edinburgh) was sworn, 

William Scut,— Pri*. I challenge him. 
James Raunie, — Pris l\ hallengehim* 
Jmnes Jameson,— Prii. I challenge him. 

4. James Ijndsiiy (of Qtmlity-strcet, Leilh^j 
wine Merchant^ was sworn. 

Alexander Sherift,— Pr w. I challenge him. 
Alexandt^r Rinnear, — Pri^. I challenge him* 

5. James Hamilton (of Princcs-strcet, iti^ 
tlie city of Kclinhurgh, uphobterer) was sworni 

6. Alexander Ponton (of Canal-street m\ 
the city of Edinburgh, wri^ht) was sworn. 

David Deuchar (ol High-street, in thecityj 
of Edinburgh, seaUengravcr) was sworn. ' 

8. Chark's Uobinson, (of PrinceS'Slreet^ J 
in the city of Edinburgh, painter) wa^ sworn, 

9. George Rae (of Leith-wynd, in the parisb'^ 
of Canongale, candle maker) was sworn^ ^ 

to. John Bonnar (of Si. Uavid-strt^et, ia^ 
the city of Edinburgh, painter) was sworn. 

It. Pavid Milne (of Queen-street, in thd , 
city of Edinburgh, merchant) wa^ sworn. 

Fran. Buc.Sydeserff,— Pm. Irhallengcbim* 

James Price, — Prm. 1 challenge him. 

12. John Black (of InrkS Clu^e, in the city ^ 
of Edinburgh, woollen-ilrttper) was sworn. 

List or tiii: Jrav. 
Robert Young. 
William Fraser. 
William Fettcji. 
James Lindsay. 
James Hamilton. 
Alexander Ponton. 


David Deuchar, 
Uharl<;s Robertson. 

J' ir 

JiilVirj .ijiilie. 

John Bhvk. 

Cfcrk of Arralgti^ — Ccunl thc«c- [He 
Ihen called over Ihc names of ihe Jurors 
sworn : thuy were accord in j;ly counted.] 

Clerk of Arraigns, — Crycr,niake proclama- 

Cryer,—Oyet^ , If any ooii can iaform my 
lords, Uie king's attorney general, or this in* 
quest now tu be lakt n<, of tlie high treason, 
whereof the prisoner at tiic bar stands in- 
dicted, let them come forth, and they sliall be 
heard ; for now the prisoner stands at the bar 
upon bi.^ deliverance, and all others that are 
bound by reco^Lcance to give evidence 
against the prisoner at the bar, let them coine 
furth and give their evidence, or else they for- 
feit Ibeir recognizance ; and all jnrynien that 
have been called, and have appeared, and are 
^01 Mworn^ joaj depart the court. 

Clerk nf ^rrai^nj.— David DowdIc, hold 
up your haod (which he did). 

ilkrk of Arroigns to tlie Jury.— Gciitlc- 
meu, you that arc sworn, look upon the priso- 
ner, and hearken lo !ii> 4:harj;e ; he stands in- 
dicted by the name of David Downie» lale of 
Edinburgh, iii the county of Edinburgh, not 
Jiaving the fear of God in his heart, nor weigh' 
iog the duly of hib allegiance, but bt-in;^ moved 
as a false traitor agaiust our lord the kuig, and 
wholly withdrawing the cordial love and true 
and due obedience, fidchtV) and allegiance^ 
which every true and faithlul subject »ht>iild» 
and of right ought to hear, towards our lord 
the king, and wickedly^ nialickiOHly, and 
Irailerously, contriving to break axid disturb 
the peace, and to change, subvert and over- 
throw the government happily estabJLshed in 
this kinjEidom, and lo eicite, move, and raise 
in-surrertlon, and rebellion, and to dejwse our 
J ord the king from the govemraenl of Great 
Britain, ^nd to put him to death, on the firO. 
day of March last, and on divers oiht r dayi^. — 

f be first overt act is, that be, on Uie hrst of 
Marcli, did maliciously, wickedly, and ( r alter • 
maiy meet, conspire, consult, and mme to 
I liOp c and procure a meeting of divers stiujccts, 
to be assembled and held within Uie kingdom 
of Great Brrtarn» under the name of a con- 
vention, for tlir i,{ assummg to them- 
selves, at siicli \if. powers ofgoveni- 
jneiit and If'gjsiaiMjn, M.ur this kingdom, in- 
dependent, kind Ml defiance of ttie aiitliority. 
and a^aiust the whole of the parliament of 
this kirigduni, aud of subverting and aitering 
the ndc and government, and deposing our 
lord the knig from the government and royal 

The second oved act is that he roet^ and 
consulted to instigate, incite, encoura^, and 
porsuHdu the subjects of our brd the king, to 
<Miuse and procure divrrs meelmgs ana as* 
scrub lies, for the purpose of choosing dele- 
gates frum amon^ themselves, to jucel in a 
i,i. -».»,, .r ...J... .^ .. n^imj of a r - r- *- -: * ■ 

j^c of as8' 

_ lit: ui I -iJ"! 

Trial of David Dowm€ 

iembled to cluio&e a convention to' be hekl, 
the object of which was, to redress nadooal 
grievances, by usurping to themselves the 
power of government and legislation of this 
kingdom, in defiance of the authority of 

Tli« fourth overt act is, cODsultiiig Xo bring 
about, in such convention, lo be held without 
the consent of parliament, an alteration and 
cbange in the modeof representatioo, and in^ 
stigaBng and inciting persons to send dele* 
gates to such convention, for the same pur- 

The fifth overt act is, that he conspired, with 
other false traitors, by farce to oblige the km^ 
to alter the measures of government, and to 
comply with certiin unlawful dcrmaods^ pio- 
posiuons, and meastireS| to be theicafUt 
made by bim, relating to the king's adminis- 
tration of the government of this kingdom. 

TJic sixth overt act is, that he conspired to 
mise, and make insurrection and rebelhon, 
against our lord the kin^. 

The seventh overt act is, that he conspired 
to oblige the king by force to comply witli 
certain demands to be made hv Wun. 4r»U cofw 
sent to tlie introduction of u% afld 

n^eabures respecting the go\ ' uf this 


1 he eighth overt act i«, that he conf^irtdj 
consulted, and agreed with other false traiKn^^ 
to seize and take the caatle of Edtnbur^gh into 
his possession, by force of arni»> with gtjn5r 
pikes, spears, baiile-«&kea, and other of&naivt 
weapons, and Uy provide leaders to be ap- 
pointed and instructed by him, and to ky in 
wail, and surprise the forces of our lord the 
king, sUiLioned in the said Castle of Edin- 
burgh, and to attack and 6gbt them, and to 
take into hb poises:iion by force, the public 
banks, and excise uflite, and to seije wl 
imprisun the justice clerk, the lords of councU 
and ^cs.'^ion, and justiciary, and the lord pro^ 
vusf of Kdijiburgh. 

The ninth overt act is, that he did trvftismte 
and incite divers subjects of our l^'i <.; 

to consent tU| anil approve the la^i J 

traitcrous propusal^v ^^*^ ^ &td aiui as^fp<i mm 
in eiiceiing, and carrying the $ame into cxe^ 

Ttie tenth overt act if, that he fOiMpired 

and consulted UlUl other fal^ Ir^itnrt tn uto- 

cure arms for tlu) pirpo^ oi it 

and allacrs, to enable him l^^ ;* 

ill the legal eiterciae of his royal power vid 

The eleventh overt act is, '' n^jpiied 

to raise and le%y moDey, tli< r-irry 

into effect his truiterous puri 

'llic Iweltth overt act is, tl '» 

rkrtri: ' ,' ' ' V ' di>pcrs*M cfri^n iim- 
ir- liipnabUj p&ipen, «Dd 

>ur \m Um 



J^ High Trtas6n. 

A. D. 1794. 


[lft|ift¥ ibe Bame to him, with intem Umt 

flhould b4£ accautited for^ and 

math way as shmjld be most eal- 

10 make, and mi'^e insurrectioQ and 

tlMioo af^inst the king. 

' Thm Iktfteenth overtiLct is, that be hired and 

fg ic fd John Fairiey, to oury and disperse 

tKsk pipcsi am )a«^t aforesaid, sxid delivered 

purpose, with 

r said lord the 

uir \Mii! in the exercise 

assist in prosecuting 
i^ade to subvert the go- 

tjv^rt act is, that he in* 

1 Fairlcy, to insljgatp, 
/ . ts of our said lurd the 

iimru:e and support, and to 
■y as flhould be colJectcd to 

lilWntb overt act is, that he eitt- 

the fiaid John Fair ley, to in&tignte and 

ibo iiuhject; ofonr said lord the king, to 

m afraa, and to arm themselves, to resist 

kiig^aod U» aid and assist him m subver- 

tbt fEi&vtnuneot. 

futeeolh overt act b, that he em- 

HlUiam Brown, to m»ke and procure 

foe arming himself and other false 

and pajd tliem munev for the same. 

H^mteenth overt act is, that he em- 

Onock to make arms for the 

Ttw eic|i<«tnih overt act is, that he con- 
il, aoid foi into his posses^t uu arms^ and 
I IhcvD Goocaalcd in his dwelling house, in 
\ fo be made use of, for the traitcrous 
talbcesaid, agamst the duty of his al- 
ft^&sl the form of llie statute in 
aiU^ and provided, a^uinsi the 
iatd lord the king, nis crown 

indictment he hath been ar- 

aod thereunto hatb pleaded Not 

ad f«Drhiii trial hath pot himself upon 

the eouotry, which country you are ; 

etiafife i% to tnqitire whether he he 

f '^ '.'"", ^- . ' . "' ■ : .'ids 

. sy 

lu riKinjier wiiai gfju.iija ami inaitcrls 

laiicnientji, he had Dt tlie time of 
iMqfi tretf'^'" '--^ '>>"«• «.*i ***■ jit any lirae 
if j^i . you are to 

■Murs if hi rind that he 

iM lor I ot his coods and 

diaaaK, i ium guilty; if you 

MbiainAi ;! that he did not fly 

ivittTQii ai' ^0| and no more; and 

bnHuii to tbc tiviilaicc. 

Mr. DiaaJatf.^-Oentlemen of the Jury, This 
n an iwlieliDent of high treason, against 
Dmd Dawnmv the ^iioner at the bar. Vou 
lawi hcar^ the tndtdment read, and it is my 
ter 10 iUK? the substance of it. DrieHy, 
L as ilua^'Tbe prisoner is charged with 
J to wittmVlit II convention, which 
lisurp the iQDvemmtDt, and to new- 

model, at their will, the constitution of the 
conntrv- He is likewise charged with procur- 
ing offensive weapons, to arm the subjects of 1 
the cQuntr5% in order to alter the form of the 
government, and to overawe, and restrain the 
conduct of the king, and compel him to conn 
ply with such measures as, to the prisoner 
and his associates, might seem proper, and 
expedient; and, finally^ he is charged witb 
having conveyed treasonable papers, with a 
view of influencing the army, corrupting the 
soldiers, and hiiissing them from their duty, 
and of exciting them to rebellion. The «uni 
of all is, he has taken measures which, in the 
language of the law, extend to compass and 
imagine the death of the king, — to which, he 
has pleaded Not Guilty. 

The Lord AdrocoU.—^l^ Lords;— Gentle- 
men of the Jury,'-'Thjs is an indictmejit 
against the prisoner at the bar, for the crime 
ot'hi;;h treason ; and it is my duty to stale to 
yiiu, shortly, the low, as it appears to me to 
stand, upon that subject, and the general 
nature and import of those facts, which on the 
part of lUe crown, and on that of the public. 
It is my duty to lay before you, and to support 
by evidence; of the truth or suAlciency of 
>*hich evidence, you, as the representatives of 
the country, judging impartially, between the 
prosecutor on the one hand, and your fellow 
subjects on the other, are alone cntitledf and 
have the power to delermme. 

Gentlemen, it must be perfectly well known 
to you, that, upon the happy event of the 
union of the two kingdoms, the sys^tcros of 
law which bad prevailed in each country 
from the earliest history of both of them, 
wrre by that solemn trcaly, settled and se- 
cured to each nation for ever. Soon afker^ 
however, and upon the best gmunds of public 
expediencv, an aUer*ilioii took place, m re* 
spect to tile crime of high treason, which, 
smce that period, has, by the authority of 
parliament, been made the same for both 
kingdoms. It was just that it slioutd be so; 
for, being united under the f^ame sovereign, 
and under the same happy form of govern* 
nnent, it was expedient ana necessary, that as 
our allegiauLe was the same, the laws that 
punished the breach of it should be equally 90« 
ticntJemen, I shall not stop to inquire, 
whether we, in Scotland, gained, or may be 
supposed to have gained, or to have lost, by 
the introduction of the English Jaw of treason; 
it is not material to the question you are now 
to try; but this I can state, without the 
hazard of contradiction upon the part of the 
prisoner, that ihe Scots laws of treason, previ- 
ous to the union, were much more strict, and 
much more severe, than those which were 
established in England, under the protection 
of which we now hvc ; and that some persons, 
who are now suffering • under the common 

• Muir, I'alfucr, SkirviD|:, Margarot, and 
Gcrrald ; u -■ see m tbc preceding 

Volume oi ^ iwu. 



law 0* Scotland, arbitrary punishmcnU, fix- 
offences cummitted against it, would, if the 
Scots Iaw8 of treason had existed at the present 
moment, httve been tried for their lives, under 
thftt liw\ mid would have suifered the capital 
punishment which tliat hw iutiicted. I have 
no doubt you must ubo know, for it is a cir- 
cumstance that has always Lieen stated to the 
lionour r»f the law of England, that from the 
day* of king; Edwanl 3r«l to the present 
time, the law of treason has been governed 
by a statute, passed in the rei^n of timt excel- 
lent prince; and that it remains the founda- 
tion of all the trials which have proceeded 
upon that subject. 

It includes t hree distinct cases; and the 
statute is conceived m that ^hort, simple, and 
precise style^ fur which the parliaments of our 
orefathera, at an early period, l>olh in Kng- 
and and in Scotland, were so dis.tina:uished 
ind remarkable. They left thai bneL s-hort, ' 
ud concise statute, to be applied by the 
es of the land, in afler'timcs, to every 
ase wbirh appeared to them to fall within it ; 
hey bufije<l not tJiemselves with hunting out 
every mmule case, which fancy might sug- 
' but they laid down, in pbin and clear 
inguage, that tonducl, and those leading 
els, by which allegiance, in their apprehen- 
on, was broken, and left to the juilicial au- 
Ihority of the laud to apply to sobbequent 
Leases, the distinct and plain rules by which 
Iftlie Uw of treason was bettled and defined ; 
iind that slatute, which has stood the test of 
^centuries, and which has been discussed in 
Every case that has s'mce occurred, has now, 
I and for a long time past in England, been 
•fixed, exphuucd, aiiil seltle^l, beyond the pos- 
> fiibility of controversy, and beyond the rcuch 
..<of dispute; it has justified the wisdom of 
,.the parliament which enacted it, by the uni- 
versal applause which this country has be- 
. stowed on it; and has received troiu all who 
.have conbidered or written upon the subject, 
the slronge^^t, and moil jtust encomiums as 
^}>rc3erving, on the one Imml, the con^litulioii 
find K*^vernment, and the safely of every 
[tmemoer of th*it government, by punishment 
Lb€vcj:v, if those under its proleclion are iaUe 
[ /enough to conspire for its downfall ; and se- 
curing, at the same time, the liberty of tlic 
subject, aud the safety of the highest as well 
as the meanest indivukial that lives under its 
protection, from the power of the crown, if 
ever attempted lo be opprcsnively txertcd, or 
Mretched beyond the due limits of tiiat au- have v 
thority with which the law and cousin ution 
Las vested it for the hucurity of the whole, 
luid for ttic presscrvation of peace and of 

Gentlemen, I stated to you, there were three 
^K>mtH whith formed the leading juid pronii- 
ticnt lValure«i of lh*ir net of purhi^mt'iit. 

1' ' le, and 

jcoii imouft 

in ;;'k"i, i^ — toajp.i".M;jjj nr niiUi^ining the 

dcatii of the king ; the socock1| IcVyuig war 

Tritd of David Downie 

apinst the king : aiid the third, adhering to 
the enemies of tne king. 

In this case^ with the last we have nothin| 
to do, The charge, which has been opened 
in geneml to you, by my brother, falls, as 
you must have observed, under the tirst and 
most important of the whole, cnmpi -"'*'■' "^"<f 
imagining the death of the sover. 
in the course of the evidence 1 iL„.. „=.-.- 
wards open, you will find, that, lo a certain 
extent, the second branch of the statute 
comes likewise under your consideration, 
though it forms not the Aground work of the 
charge against the prisoner at your bar ; for, 
accord in j^ to the universal and concurrent atj* 
thority of the greatest and ablest judges and 
lawyers, which any country ever produccdj 
men, friends to the liberties, the n 1 ' "d 
the constitution of their couniry, a « 
or coiihultalion to levy war, or in 
agaiitst tlie government and the , 

even though that war should not 1 x!y 

levied, but by vigilance checked \\i the bud, 
has been, with the fullest consideration, held 
to be an overt act of compassing and imagin- 
ing the death of the sovereign, and to hlk 
under thai leading and principle branch of the 

Gentlemen, we have, since Ihat law has 
been extended to us, had two rebeUious in 
our country, but upon both those occasions, 
the persons guilty were, from peculiar circumt^ 
slancen, and under the authority of a special 
statute, tried in our sister kingdom. We 
have the misfortune, at the period we now 
Uve, to be almost the Brst, in the ditferent si- 
tuations of judges, jurymen, or prosecutors, 
called lo the meUurholy, hut necessary exer- 
cise of the jurisdiction, accorthng to the laws 
that prevail in our sister kingdom ; and 
though the periods of rebellions, I trust, are 
pa»t ; allluuigh we all, for this century pa^ 
nave had occasion to bless IIih couhtitutioa 
which our parents have es^tablished for us^ 
which from ihem we have received, ana 
which, 1 trust, we shall do our utmost to 
scud down entire to our children, there exists^ 
at the present moment, to the astonishment 
and gnef of every virtuous, loyal, and well- 
disposed subject (from what source it origt- 
natea I need not sitate), a conspiracy and cona- 
binaliou, toundcd upon principles hu'-lile, not 

only to our own, but to every utj 
mciit,aud subvert vc of allordcr, :< 
who, dr^ • - - - ^ I ut - 

< nn lent, 
lant, the 
*«'" of 




b' lli- 

r.i! ■ uh 

evi:i V ijfUuu t'AuUul, ^aidunduilic h|»octou3 
bul li^ll^e pretext of reform, to ^itb*^tUutc in- 
i^iead of what v^ > : which 

the^e unhappy p« uol uu- 

dtfjiirtHnd ; an 4^tU luj^i wtiun^n imy ttad Mic* 
cecdcd, would have produced the aamc drenal* 

JofT High Tretuon, 

l<l tWim|lit Pti J which have taken place in a 
neiiMiMrtD^ cotxniry : would have equally 
iiifai»Cfi in it the life of our sovereign, and 
tkf Qlblcoce of the legislature ; would have 
nborttd mil laws, and annihilated all pro- 
f|Btyy« >d,^cr destroving those persons em- 
"■^ ' ' Ihc service of llic state^ or members 
>Uituref would have almost in the 
loiediate moment, des^cended on the 
boidB^f those most active aud conspicuous in 
m itondftti con^spiracy. 
GeDllenten, the word.s of (he act of parlla- 
1 >ti/ H'iili sufficient accuracy 
Its meaning; and after 
, vou will be able, without 
- mmc, which as a Scots law- 

} ' tlly pretend to give you, upon 

Ai> i ^ .. i.ULute, to see what the law of 
t» - 1- -, <jr by what circumstance's of con- 
dun It lb violated. The law of England, indeed^ 
an ibe law of every free country ought to be on 
tbm tuihjtr'. : ' tin that every man who 

itaAk amy nd and know precisely 

IIm* Ijirr - ' (J jics tu violate. — ^For your 

^rtbtt jtj, however, I shall feel it 

"^ n\vn words, but in those 
lied lawyers of England, 
-e observ'ations on the 
d to them material, and 
their apprehension, that 
lifiikit iiie oue or the ottier of the two 
Inadiei of the act of parliament. T shall 
hf^ wtU) Mr. Justice Foster^ of who^e 
>t>u have most of you no doubt heard, 
him and Hawkins, and Mr. 
' ue» (he most modern of them 

tew I' igri upon the subject, 
Uwldtscourie which Mr. Justice Foster 
>fi.^f the rebellion 1746, upon 
Ibtlsvrol on, which, as from the 

diihieru'i^ -ii ^ j-stonal, as well as eene- 
r, and the pHriiciilar circu matinees 
I If! was called upon to consider 
ninute allentioui so he pos- 
iy of stating to his country, 
lilt the law was on the sub- 
ii iimeutary upon the first 

rjti lie, compassing the king's 
ts himself in the following 

tliat, in the case of the king, 
•-'f^H hath, with great pro- 
rule, voiunlo* pro /actOf 
■ \j. The principle upon 
^ is loo obvious to need 
ihc king is considered as 
pohlic, and the mem- 
re considered as united 
I k«f I together, t)y a polilital union with 
^ '~ 1 with iiiich other, — IJis life cannut, 

A. D, 1791, 




lit^c of ih 
I practices, v 




1 to slop 

,...^...;v..vjr, I mean 

'. wijo, m his** Prin* 

liM uoiiuestionably 

proved himself, by his writings, as great a 
friend to the liberty of tlie subject, a& a de- 
cided enemy to any severe system o( criminal 
jurisprudence; and who observes, tliat the 
circumstance of a sovereign being carncfl 
from his throne, and under the appearance of | 
a mock trial, led to execution by his subject*, 
was (some few years a^o> without a narallcL 
We live at an hour of this century, when his 
lordship's remark is no longer accurate, and 
when that circumstance is no longer pecuUar i 
to the history of Rritam ; when drcadftd ex- 
perience jusiifies the truth of Mr. Justice 
Foster's observation, — " That his life cannot 
be taken, in the ordinary course of things, 
without involving a whole nation in blood 
and confusion; consequentl^v, every stroke 
levelled at his person, is, in tlic ordinary 
course of things, levelled at the pubhc Irari- 
quillity; the law therefore icndereth fihe 
safety of the king, with an anxious, and, if I 
may use the exprcsstoo, with a concern bor- 
dering upon jealousy : it considereth the 
wicked imaginations of the heart, in the same 
decree of guilt as if carried into actual exc» 
cutinn, from the moment measures appear to 
have been taken to render them etVectual ; 
and therefore, if conspirators meet, and con- 
sult how to kill the king, though tliey du not 
then fall upon any scheme for tint pt»rpose, 
this is an overt act of compassing his deatli, 
and so are all means made use of, be it advice, 
persuasion, or command, to incite or en- 
courage others to commit the fact, or to joia 
in the attempts ; and every person who but 
assenlelh to any overtures for tliut purpose^ 
wdl be involved in the same guilL'* 

*• And if a person be once present at a con- 
sultation for such purpose, and conceal it, 
having had a previous notice of the design of i 
the meeting, this is an evidence pnjpcr to be , 
let! to the jury, of such assent; though the i 
party say, or do nothing, at such consuUit- { 
tion. The law is the same, if he is present 
at more tlian one such consultation, and dotb i 
not dissent or make a discovery. But, in the 
case of once falling into the company of con- 
spirator-*, if the party met them accidenlallyy ] 
or upon some inditferent occasion^ bare con- 
ceahnent^ without express assent, will be but ' 
misprision uf treason. The law was formerly 
more strict in this respect; 'si ad tempus j 

• dissinmlaverit vel subticueril, quasi conscn- j 
' tiens et asncnticns, crit seductor domniij 

* regis manifestos/ 

He then goes on .— " The care the law batlil 
taken for the personal safety of the kin^, isi 
not con6ned to actions, or attempts oitliel 
more flagitious kiad» to assassination* or poU j 
son, or other attempts, directly and immcdi« 
atcly aiming at his lite; it is c\" . ' ' fi> 
every thing wilfully and deliberal' r 

attempted, whereby his life may br riim 
gcred ; and, thcretorc, the entering into me 
siiTPs lor <i-iNi-irit'" or imprisoning hira, or 
gel his [" liic power of the cons 

tors,— tliL va arc overt acts of * 




Trial of David Dotsnie 


wUliiii tlii«» branch of the $tat\jtc: for eKpe- 
ntnce hath shown, thjit between the prisons 
antl the graves of princes, the distance is very 

It goes on :^^" Ofienccs which are not so 

'personal as those aJrcad.v mentioned, have 

I .beeni with g;Tcat propriety', brought within the 

) same rule, hs having a lendenry, though not 

^fto immediate, to the same fatal end: and, 

" •refore» the entering into measures, in con- 

''cett with foreigners and others, in order to an 

invaskm of the kingdom, or going into a 

foreign country, or even proposing to go 

thither, to that end, and taking any steps m 

order thereto^ — these offences are overt acts 

of compassing the kind's death/' 

Gentlemen^ from this you will observe^ 
that any thing which has a tendency to touch 
the life or the safety of the sovereign, which 
I In' the smallest degree may in its conse* 
|4)uences bring it into hazard, is, upon Ibe 
principle of the quotation I first set out with, 
most justly held, and always has been, by 
every court of law, and every jury that tried 
the question, as the ofience of compassing and 
\ imagming the deatti of the king, provid^ an 
I overt act, or facts and circumstances, suf- 
ficient to satisfy your own consciences, that 
atich was the parlies intention, are proved, 
and which oblige you, by the oath you have 
taken, to return that verdict you think the 
evidence compels you to do. 

Gentlemen, having stated this, I shali beg 
'leave to trouble you with only anotlier 
<|tiolation from the same author, which is pro- 
I ,prr to be attended to, as peculiarly applicable 
in the facts I have afterwards to state, and 
l-^hich, I believe, will be made out to you by 
ncc. Relative to the second bramch of 
fttute^ and the manner in which that is 
d to, as evidence of the prisoner being 
jtiilty, under the first branch of the act of 
:-fi»rhament, the actual levying of war against 
"Jie king, no body can question, is hi eh irea- 
imfn%. A consultation to levy war> if directly 
■ •against the person of the kin^, i^ evidence of 
|-corn passing or imagining bts death, even 
l^lhough no war actually follows; and Mr. 
I jMstice Foster says, — ** Every insurrection 
Which, in the judgment of law, is intended 
[ Against the person of the king, be it to de- 
ifllirorM or imprbon him, or to oblige him to 
iter Lis m€a«ures of government, or to re- 
nov« evil oounicllors from about him, these 
sings all tjtjount to levymg war, within the 
atute, whetbrr attendtd with the pomp and 
iimstances of open war, or not ; and every 
enspiracy to levy war for these purposes, 
bough not treason within 
Qg war, is an overt net 
^ compa*^ng the aiu. 
purposes cannot be eff* 
. lad open force, without m 

•» i«te to other 

having Ihua la^ 
Qlft to IDJ mind aa itatum the law 

authorities,'*! du not, upon r etui lot tiuo, think 
it necessary; and therefore thall proceed to 
stale those Cacts under which, if in the sequel 
thty shall be satiafactorilv proved, it will be 
my duty to claim your Judgraeot aguost that 

Vou are all, I make no doubt, acquainted, 
that about two years ago, & number of per- 
sons in this country* formed themselves into 
associations, or clubs, for the purpose, as it 
was said, of obtaining what they called a p*r- 
Hamentary reform, a reform of which you will 
hear more in the sequel, and which yuit will 
see proved by authentic dcicuments and 
papers before you, whatever the original 
movers of tl)e plan intended, or whatever 
they professed to intend, to have been no- 
thing else but a scheme to subvert the pie- 
scnt system of go\'ernment in this oottEVtr^f* 
and to obtain what they call universal uiU 
frage, and annual parliaments, without which 
some of those poor deluded people have been 
taught to think, thev have not been free. 
They applied, as they had a right to apply, by 
petition to parliament, and the House of Com- 
mons, in Its wisdom, and to its etcmaJ 
honour, acting as it thought best for the 
safety of the country, and foreseeing what 
was couched under the application, rented 
tliese petitions, and refiised to listen to them. 
Being disappointed in this measure, it ap- 
pears that some of those clubs and associai- 
tioDS instantly set about looking out for other 
moana, and you will have, as early as the 
month of May 1T9J, a letter from a club in 
London, called the London Corre^^ponding 
Socr-^^- - rrerson of the name of Skirving 
in I ■■■■, who was secretary 1o another 

chiti ... , ..«iui, or rather, as he has styleil 
himself, secretary to a convention of all Ihm 
clubs which had met upon that subject, ami^ 
which bad been mdustriously created in ' 
country, in every comer of it. In that leite ^ 
which will be proved to you, Mr* Hardy,* the 
secretary, states to Mr. Skirting, as the 
Uqpse of Commons have rejected their nets- 
tion, it is now lime, or proper to thijak of 
more effectual measures; and he desires 
know from Mr. Skirvmg, and hw friends 
this country, what these more effectual i 
sures arc. 

Mr, Skirving in another letter which will 1 
proved to you, soon after answers Mr, 1 lardy f 
letter? I shalJ not at present read that letter; i 
wtll bf sv id TO yon; but, lam col 

V i need , y . k w h'-n that*|iaperts laid I 

toreyoti, ih^t j^i though the wmer of It did t 
at that time ima^oe it rver was to befVodlK 
: to th« ei»), r*«ii 
itaout aschaonet < 

had 001 oteioed hy avplicatkso, wad i 
'^^n^itioa aa esaablkb » luiid of j 
iitir««ii, ttt tfai>oowitty^i 
mkht have the «fim of 


■f f*» 


Jar High Trtatov, 

A. D. 179*. 


fatvt ifid vtokufTc, wliat liiev had been re* 
iobieA m a leg»l conslitutioDaf way by (lurlia' 

jG <at I em g n . wc will also Uy before you in 
tfiiwKt^ ^ ' ' 'in Mr. Hardy to Mr. 

JikirriB^ c* Ler 1703* a few weeks 

|it<idifigt: "^ ' ^ V t which took 

rill our rmblage o^a 

tC4Qv^ . - I '"> as the 

DlAtime budj, not on I iud^ but 

r tlicitJsaiids io Engln , : : u^iuming 
■ the power^ and statmg that it would 
_|lbe jiwreeding* of that legislature, 
I it mwb its object ijid purpose to dci»lroy ; 
ind which went the len^h^ at last, of voting, 
at Dooii-dMy, s detenu mat ion not only to 
wittll the cnjcaedings of the puriiameut, but 
if Ul* fMtiii ' ' do any one of a 

«Vie|jr of »' had the audartty 

l#MrlkttULr * biy resist its 

mmim^y^ t; t by superior 

I tb*^' j.^.iL , '^*"^T1 to 

the London ^ v, 

totber stjniiar !i5soli_. ..„, ,.:.: ...... ^,..w^, 

mm^M te «4 ta appoint a secret cuuitnittce, 
Sm tlie pttffoei^, in any of the specified ra5es, 
•fcri]fal§ iof^ether a convention of emergency 
ataflboc tliay kejil j^rret, where the ring- 
littlin of Ibat cont^piracy evidently, at that 
DHBBiit. Ihou^ht lliey nhould be able to a^- 
m a rallying (Hiint, in some corner of 
iliy, Mch a force as woidd enable them 
\ tut ataodard of reheUiun against the 
and legal authorities of the 

you know, and we all of ua 
, -_ J Uit ubhged by our duty to attend 
t |ir»c>ed4ii§a ol these men, and who will 
by every meana in our power, to 
Ufefin tola Utetr most secret recesses^ 
► the- ffejnotir of him who is %our chief 
ma^tita' tint into the miast of that 

MMlIb ilutnniaied a^ he may have 

ha li.v <jf [nagiitenal authoi'ily, by 

litt fifi: tttaofi and its adherents,-!. 

lui^ aiijgil II one end to the 

r* firrfl lawaii : gratitude, which 

^for«etiitK. a ^ in dispersing 

i><« i iri ii l i oii» ui^ p: It again pre- 

iSMfmijJe wilL.. -, .iiy. 

I you ail reeoileetp prosecutions 
III ag&ioat tlioee persons. li^f^re the 
_<if 8c»lJa.nd» lor thi cy had 

^ it the law * id, and 

i ^ lum, t^ie nngieadi f s vt that con- 
Ihut ptfni?hrnrrit which the 
^ Sotill- t persons so 

ifcwliaj^ / r ima^rjned, 

• IImi ' foun^^ and ' 

jUifgWi HywmcliflMcd ai uk^^., w^...i. ^ ^...^ 
■M« btn iMMii sftta tttlcfliftiog to have 
iwiiltiid ma dtmm^ for which lonie of th^^ir 
OauyOKB hfid ao receutlv ^tiikirJ; but f 
Ml fwrt* t£9 you, gciiiituicu, tiiai tin^ 

prisoner at your bar waa m member of that 

i*risimer, — I was called as a witness upon 
Skirving's trial/ to give tcsliinony lo the 

Lord Advocate*^My Lord, I must prove 
liic existence of a conspiracy. I am entJtled 
to prove Uial this man, after the trial (I am 
not trymg him for any thing committed be- 
fore), that ht% being a member of the British 
Conventiiin, did persevere in that course, and 
continued to act precisely as he had done 

Prisoner.— -My lord justice Cicrk, is not 
this pr^udicing the jury against nie ? Having 
given evidence" upon Skirvmg^s trial, nothing 
of that convention can aftect me. 

L^rd Fretidcnt. — ^The lord advocate says, 
he does not mean to charge you with any 
thing prior to that trial, but to charge you 
^'ith duing things after that lime; and he is 
enlitled to open bischarge ; that will not, and 
ought not to prejudice the minds of the jury. 
The jury know, though they must have a 
charge opened, they are not to proceed upon 
any charge or alh-gation whatever, on either 
side, till proof ii» brought forward ; and they 
cannot believe any thing heard, without or 
withindoors, except what is established l>y 
l*roof ; that every gentleman there knows. 

Lord Advocate, — I cannot, as I am entitled 
to do, accuse tliisman of continuing, and pur- 
suing criminal measures, unless f state the 
measure in which he has continued. It is 
impossible I can prove to the jury, or accuse 
him of continuing in a course of illegal I mea- 
sures, unless I Slate also what the criminal 
measure is that he bus persevered in ; at the 
same tmie, if your lordships be of opmion I 
am stilting what I have no right, or am not 
bound m duty to state against the prisoner. 
I am far from wishing to stale what can cri- 
minate him, beyond what X feel my duty 
to do. 

Lord Pretideni, — The counsel for the pri- 
soner must he clear the lord advocate is gomg 
on only with what is proper. 

Mr, Culkn. — I'he lord advocate is only 
stating what happened afterwards. 

Lord JdtHKsie, — I am only stating what 
happened iilWwards. 

Air. AnUruther.^^lfihe lorcj advocate states 
wliat is not evidence, the counsel w^ill object 
to the admissibility of it ; then will be the 
lime for the objection. 

Lord Advocate. — AAerthe dispersion of the 
British convention, a number of persons, who 
were delegates to that convention, formed a 
new society in this city, of which society this 
person was one, did continue to assemble in 
♦*-- societies, and persevered m the same ' 
res whicl» was the object of the British 

... iiuon to obtain, and the nature of which 
i menlioiKd. ikuig pruhibitcd and prevented 
from asscmbinig In the same mode which 


MKSKOlUSi: 111. 

Trial of David Dovonie 


lliiiV Imd Ibrnirrly mlnplril, tlu\v PMlablishctl, 
111 llir iiioiitli ot'Jaiiiiury IunI, what thev ral- 
Ictlu KriiiTuI roiiiinittrr, and which at\er- 
waitKuhlaiiUHl ainoiii* ihriiisrlvc!! the appcUa- 
liiiii ut a roiiiiiiiltfi' oM-iiiuii, cuiiMstiu^ of a 
imiiihrr ol' tlt'lrgatCH chosen hy rarh chib, 
inlu whuh tht'V hati pIcaMMl to divide and 
hulKlividr thiMU»c*lv«^!i, in Ihist city and the 
lu-iKhlHiurhtKHl. L will prow they wf re the 
Mine |H*iaon^ and tlie most active among the 
nicinliers ol tlie Uriti^h convention, w)H>m 
the juMice of' the country iHTinilted to re- 
inuui in it at\cr the tii^d and mnitshment of 
the piinci|mt actors. L >hall snow the mea- 
^urv^ they inirsiied in that lonuniUec were 
|vitx'ively* tiie same, with this ai:i^ravation. 
that \ou find them gradually p^Ket^lin^ fr\>m 
U'Mk to more, until they altaimM that decree ; 
of criminahtv which U\l to a disciwery of ! 
ilHTir proceedings, andchivkcd them in their \ 
pio^ivss. \ou>i^iU find It proxei), that, after > 
Mtint;( a ivrtaui (ktuvI, and meetiu:: reiiuUrU- , 
and prvn:ivssi\elvt fr\nutinie to tunc, they at , 
l^t Mil'divuKxl tlieniselvesiiito an inferior and 
Niib%»rdiiu(e ivmmittct'. to ^hich they pive 
the apivlUtKHi of a Sib^ wmnr.tiee. or a vVin- . 
luitliv of \\;i^s aihI Means that this i oni- 
on (Uv. Ill it> Kviivatxui, aiui ::i Us striK-ronr. 
ik-atlx vkiii deiX'te tw>>v*;i, irat tlnry were ex>- 
i;a^v\l III a iWhlvrate, ir^itUr. and >\su'u:auc 
Vlan, to subject ihe c^'\iTwmer.t of tJL^e cx'civ 
li\ ihai thu» cviiuur.tee tuul ab^»lutc. ui>- 
«\'A\V.vIuiVIe aucl KCii'V»^te ^x-'wtr* to c.*L:e\'t 
^vlS\•^» aud :o iii'«'f^»*e or •.^-l; r.xvv> »:i wuicci 
W4\ •.*>:> v^^AxxT, jkitec Ntilij: j-.'^ecied. iv: 
•tv*,*t lix:> s.*nj» a'vtv, I'u: fr^'in e\^ry vjlt: of 
S.V! .;i'A.^ w Sr :v t.vx wvclvi e 6x V-a* > h.^ av : 
i>.v A-0. ci vivtf :r.«cc> :juh i.:Je ^\vj:u::t^w 
w*> Sv- Jis.jcxr c« '.-"^f uicix-x : J Lie ^a^ 3^.>l 

U-:>.-C '. MS •jt;».i!«:y rr\ :•:! t-V*>e ■-■erv.-i;'* -.>:;. 

.: ^A'^ ,*..>«.■.• .iviHix'i.x: :•.' -c y, - •.'»_• :,* : ".e 
r\':ci »•• iJc '^ .V o. >A..^ ..i. ^.x" *jc :tf»:i: 
i j^.>»vi a v.", xx Jw:>e : V • -j-f^i L-ci >:;a:c ^ 2.1". 
1,'v V.C .•j.>4.* * Ls^ xr ».:.».* '..v \ix;x* >»a> 

; ::..>i ..*-,^» >«: *ti.v .■.• \'.x. :.m: : r:> "rra:: 
^jjk a -lit : -x- ,'.' :..'.i'- -s-A .■j:— .iiv I'-'-'-v ,>-•-'- 
•ri :'.*x-» . •. «.•- ^ V. ..•.!.•:. ."•.v :i *»^ *. > **:'! 

.'V .Mi: ■■».■..•.. I :i x-ii.'. .■ *v ■?»i.%Jii.«."^ ^1 :•. 
*>{■.:■%.• .'. »: -.■. «. .:. *. -t*-* ■»!:■■;• ...*. u *«.• 
avi«.v-* '-> • ■•- •'*•* ^*''^ : fi .' -ic«. I. 

JlVUC) .1 a4.iJ.^'- -.<. i^^t'l. "i".'^ »^ ■-'». 

^■jiiOv-Ui":' J, " (••.■-OS.;* -.1. • ■.\\ •.\,Ax<.K' .• 

).A%/ .•V'"H.U> .1.1. -tl; -^ > .»» .:«. .'LJ^C 
M>;\%.X>«lli;^-^ St U^ •^.•Il.-i.i.'* "iiu: i't - 

Miuu auu jU|iMii4i«:<t<u u 'aua» .^juui;^. sic 

conduct of the supreme criminal court, in 
having presiimc<l but to do its duty, by apply- 
ing tlic established law of Scotland to those 
persons convicted before it, by an impartial 
and intclli^nt jury. They ordered 100,000 co- 
pies of an inflammatory address to be dispers- 
eil all over, and in every comer of this island, 
for what purpose it is ror you to determine ; 
Willi what attention it is your province to 
consider : thev even, with a trivial excep- 
tion, went the length of voting, in that society 
the very resolution for which the British con- 
vention had been stopt in Edinburgh : for 
which Margarot was then hing convicted in 
gaol : for which the jury of Scotland had 
lound it their duty to convict and punish him. 
lientlemen, they also went the length of 
slating, by a paper which will also l>e laid 
befoir you, that now they were to expect no 
redrcs/, unless from laws of their own making, 
not from the laws oftheir oppressors and plui'i- 
derer* : an expression which I defy the most 
lenient interpretation to construe in any other 
9eus«\ when connectetl with tho«e circum- 
sroiH-es I have already stated, than a deep 
and d\ed decenni nation in their nuad«, t<^ 
re* St the laws aiid the le«isiaiare cf their 
iMintry. and to e*tabli*h by rorce a sovem- 
nier.t l\\ themselves. If I went no fanner th:«« I sr-cuio be entitleti to say. thai I 
.•-aJ preyed tiie nidu'tment ocoin^t th..« ccn- 
vc::*e>: :u :: ; f^ r •.: they <u«.-v*e«cei: m estab- 
lis. ::u ar-.y cccstitut-oi: one auii:cr.:y. wai^h 
tiu-lJv ir.vT^ t>> e::.u: an.: rr.pc-w L3*irc-wTi 
Li->< t.-c ":-f.i.<.:e vV^li i:-C cM*u ^iL^-rut 

ro.-.. ir.: a* re > ii: i^-i^c^jal ror^ ^-:.t. :k 

:V ..'.•* s ^- :' .vcrssT. '.ZJi'^ :" •:■-' c^ ..-.■::; izc .-: c- 

•- U' wvrj* . : :::.? oer 


J^"C Mil ^L'i-UC.> •* 

^; .M.-jj ••01: 

Ci:;. i.'-"u i7-.- • ■•» .^i^toU.?««<^:; i."'" 
Lvxrs»i :■,* c< 'JUiie. ; -«•::-•' iJ»ivi.:^ -> ztir- 

54..-.- -'r*.»ijv.?*.-; :• •-":«: ':^« tz'twi*:*! is .«> ^-;l- - 
-•..r. -..x* ji;>«'i;u.: -• *-.>; c;rc iiju '::i: itf- 

:r»-»L:: cr " -^a'ui^ 1 "aje '!«4;e»i. "^ ,ij w. 
:»:'■: c .»r.' •',-:. -ra". i> -nr -iim* lu^ iiScwi, 
»:«. i'^rw HvP" tuCaa.-.i;u> UM ^tii. Oil *r:r* 

aB«inOiC'« ih ^'iroiK r i*-it, .1 "iiK jxiictcvur- 

^\.\.'\l Jk .wtMOlt* un: •-.itiM "VSJiLCOUss. TMT^f 
?j^'i;iAi> -da*i •as' v-fm.'*^** ioiitr u :s%: ..'.iroe 
a \^*i. iau, i*«t- ua^.^.-iti; av .vuuiivT j, 

.•.-^MtM '%f aiAv Mfetf> M- .^tiu^ ufuoirr "5lri:>4j 
.*JU«*«:tic*uii. «iXit.j.^H.^*^ j«.«iniiisanik^ i -*:«> 
use ^k: «««t attOK- <.*iiu ^ osQctROa^. uiti :i)e 


J&r High Treason* 

A,D. 1794. 


I «f It 

■\ic document5| 
idence of wit- 
Luridun, that 200*000 
mutory r^'Si)lullon& were 
by tiii> nujfiniju^ i*nii UaHijeroti^ iiH'ct- 
ta^ aioid ctrciiJar letters, U will be proved, 
ii|ped by H -^ '- '*if? atcrclary of that so 
defy, urcrt !> be sent V> :il) i^iurls of 

GreftI Br I pjiqtnsr t)i ij^^cmbUng, 

tkitl ci' ^ '.■.■. II ]M.p.r.., !•'■. ii several 

s'riiL lu i.iiiirrijnt places 
ti^ ami I hat answers^ were sen I io- 
) iftceedin^ to ihe proposal of choosing 
^■te for tht^ convention « who was to be 
pndy t*? *^t out, 51 •* soon Jts notice W4s given 
t ' ' , of the lime and place of 

r Leh were kept secret with 

itur nn^ic^'iers, im liie moment drrivcd when 
itiboukl b< Juii*;ed proper to commuiticate it. 
Gctttienien, I shall prove to yuu^ llmt the 
^ the bar W4S a member oi the 





and of Ways and 
u this city at that 
, Hi at a meeting of 
vviitTc one uf tliobe letters 
liiid before them. I shall 
pfv»ii lii > wu wiuu p4ssed at that meetmg ; I 
diail prove to you, tkiut ;iii answer w^is agreed 
li»beg^vco. 1 &tmll prove to yon that that 
WAft *eut by a person oi the name of 
wbo ' iKi be found, but who is a 

t>i' I iitttee; ami that a cor- 

Icoct x^A> ij uke place, and continne 
Mr. llinly and the person that was 
«clU*« in lht*» committee, of which the 
HM one cf the members ; tikewise, 
lhi> tnt)e. in the month of Aprils 
lii iysi and Means began to 

_ measures, in proseciiiioo 

^ihat traiiorouis nitempt, which had all along 
dcsjjy been liair object; for^ having eiita- 
' Uicoi«clvc*i in the manner I have jysl 
Mv i4Jiied« about this period, Ihey went ihe 
11^, in the hrst place, to 
in this country, to 
'obedience, and re- 
i^ It was accessary 
^.,LJo over to their side, 
cm to sedition, which 
.i would tend to that end; 
while a reiiimenl of f-euci- 
r il iit Dalkeith, and were 
\ whither Ihey had vo- 
.1, they were attempted 
\ mAoctd iv rcm^ to go, and rebel against 
ol6eiers hv » pii}»<T addreiised to the i 
Mjsed in that Com- \ 
% and which was i 
ler in that com ' 
lis prisoner at the 
.. ,i person wiio in- 
con veyrd it to certain 
• cut, ukiiuii 'h, to the 
I faded 
lid it is 
las mun 
, d^ trea- 

surer of that Committee of Wavs and Means, ^ 
and for the purpose which I tornierly staled J 
to you, and as he had received that moneys j 
he actually applied it lo the real and true|1 
not to the pretended purposes for which it 1 
was collected ; and I will prove to yon, whati 
must have been the great cause for which { 
this money was so soliciled, paid, and so re^ j 
I ceived by Mr. Downic, and thut applied to i 

!no other purpose, can leave no man's mind ^ 
to doubt it was as direct a conspiracy and re* 
bellion again?*! the king and tiie governmenfc ] 
of this country, as any whirh occurred in I 
I 1715 or 1745 : tor I will prove at one of thesaui 
meetings of the Committee of Ways ancij 
Means, a person, bein^ one of the five who f 
composed it, Mr. Downie being one of tliem, 
did propose and read from a paper, a scheme,' \ 
which was actually a plan to raise an insur- 
rection, in llie dcHiJ td the night, in the mid- 
dle of this city, which bad for its object the 
arresting the persons of your first magistrate^ i 
the judges of the high court of justiciary, and 
the principal oHicers of justice ; the seizure 
of the Castle of Edinburgh, the banks, and;^ 
public ofBces ; a scheme, in short, of a regnlar J 
conspiracy against the government of the r 
country. Five were present ;—tlie proposer- 
of the plan was one ; — of the other four, two, 
struck with horror at the proposition, signified 
their disapprobation; tlie remaining two,, 
being the prisoner at the bar, and Mr. Stocky 
who were present in that meeting, not acci- 
dentally, or upon an indificrent occasion, but 
clearly, with a deliberate and treasonable 
purpose, not only did not dissent, as the other 
two had done, but proved, by their conduct^ 
their couiplele approbation of it. . 

I shall prove to you, that the prisoner af-^ 
terwards met, in that same committee, with 
those same pcrsuns ii'i*J alter the breaking 
up of the committee, at one ol" these meetings, 
concurred in sending a person to the west of 
Scotland, to sound the dispositions of the dit* 
lerenl towns, to which he was sent, as an 
ambassador, and to cqiimiuntcate to them the 
plans and schenif , formed by this Committee 
of Ways and Mean^; and tiiai man was fur- 
nished with money for that purpose, by Mr. 
Downie, the pri^oner t tliat ive returned a 
faithful account of his misNion : and that, 
when he reported to the committee the result 
of his inr^uiriei>, the prison^^r Downie was pre- 
sent. I shall prove that rejiort to be the 
hand-writing of that per>^on, upon reading 
which, you can form but one opinion, that 
no person who, acting in tliat tominitlce, 
heard that paper lead, can be doubted, the 
moujent he heard it read, as agreeing to the 
scheme which had formerly been p^i^|^o<ied, 
as much as if he had proposed it. I shall 
prove to you, that arms, of a very dangerous 
and particular structure, were ordered by the 
person wim madti tlie proposition which I 
have just now stated: that he, and the pri- 
soner at the bar, employed two smiths, whom 
thvY iubtiucted to make the mi in a private 


10] 34 GEORGE Ifl. 

^anil concejiled way : that on© of ihem^ bring* 

'ag lo Ihc other person some of the pikebi | 
[fpears^ ant) battle •axes he hud made, waj» 
on applying fur puyniciit, seut to Mr, 
5ownie, and received the payment accord* 
nsly. I shall prove thut this city, divided 
IWforo into c)uh^ ami &QiimUt% w&s again »ub- 
Idivided by this rommitlee, into smaller di- 
IvisiDns, of 10^ 15|Or 90 pt^r^ons each, under j 
[the command of the collectors, ^^'hom the ' 
leommittcc named, by wliose orders they ] 
ctad, and who were in this way to draw out | 
|tbc people, after they bad l>een properly 1 
rmed, in a moment^ so as to act with unaiii- { 
ai^, force, and vigour, in pursuance of the 
as soon as it was ripe tu be carried 
rtflcecution. If I succeed in proving all 
bisy yoti mayjnd^e otherwise ; but itappe^irs 
[to me, even if yon m ore lo diHer from me 
rith respect to the first part ot the case sub- 
Lsiitted to your tonsidumtion, regarding his 
cc«<;8ion to the plan of caUm'; - *' -- coji- 
f'veniion, thai was lo subvert lli cnt, 

And endanger the person of mu „ v. . ._,ii ; — 
yet, if I firove ihfl pre|>anntr the arms, and aH 
tlic cLrci*m«itancc'» f have jii,^t now dHailed, 
you cannot have a doubt, uyon the authorily 
of Mr. Justice Foster, in neing of opinion, 
fthat this [nan has consulted to levy war 
l«nd rebellion againi^t the kingand govemnrient 
Hf the country, lor the pf»rp<iWof malting his 
najc«ly alter hiA measures^ oJ goveraoietit, 
find the conistitution of the km^om. 

I forgot to state one matcrMlctrcuniistance, 

Fwhich J shiill albo hrinsj tjome to Mr. tkiw- 

(uie, beyond the pos^iibility of dispyte, that 

" the above-mentioned plan wa** carried 

I excculion, Ih*^ committee were to i^sue 

elaniation, orderini; all farmers, and the 

pople pQ5«iC5sed of victuals, hav, corn, and 

^HiPtil, to brine them in, for the purpci^eof 

being disposed of to the public advantage. 

Tltiit the country gentlemen were not to 

leave their habitations under pain of death, or 

go more than three miles diRtanl from home ; 

and ibey were to send a proclamation to the 

Iking, slating, that if he did not ^ive up the 

I war we are now engaged in with France, and 

l^ibmi^s his present ministers, he must cither 

\xd by the consequences, or the peril of his 

al would lie with himself. If 1 prove 

case, I leave ii lo your cansidfration 

rhat the result ol your opinions must be, and 

Iwhal the verdict, which, under your oalha 

lyo^t must gi. 1', lookin* to the saiety of your 

[country on the one Imna, to llie just security 

(of your fellow*5ul>jt!ctft on the other, ami 

kecpinf* in view, as I know you will do, the 

'p' ' * ' ' tlrs csscitliiil to Ihc equal 

.i,.- — Uc pr* '. ' '- T^foducc all 

ho papers at once, to ' i u<t»ise3 to 

ve them, and ihco rcail ^t4hcr. 

£viD£»Cli rOR TifJi CftOWf^, 

If. WUHmrn Sci^t (ppicumior im*jd) aworn. 

Mr* Amtfwiker, — What Are those paper.*, 

^l*-*TUey an; part oJ the papers itiut 

Trial of David Dtmnic 




were foimd in the possissbton uf Mr. Skirving. 

Look at them, ami tell me whether any of 
them arc Skirving'* hand^writing [Showing 

him one.] Is that Mr. Skirving's hand-writr - 

in^f— This letter has the subscription of Ma^H 
Skirvinct. ^^^H 

It is bis hand-writing? — ^Th- ' ption tf^^ 
his hand-writing ; I have sei i ik\ 

What arc lirese other p^fit* - . ia^ is a 
scroll copy of the minutes of the British Con* 
venlion,* found on the 5th of December, in 
consequence of a search, by virtue of a war* 
rant from the Sheriff. This was also found at 
tile same time. They were all found In bkir- 
ving's pos-iessioii. 

All those papers?— AH tbo.*c papers. 

The Priaontr said, he hoptxl the C 
woiikl consider he hid been promised, noth 
that passed upon examination us a witnei>S: 
should be pivLH in < ' L^arnsl him. 

Mr. C«//«n — In e of what you 

b*ve jufel now heuivi nun. t.ic prisoner al Ihc 
bar, I conceive it to be»roy duty lo call the at* 
lenti^t of the (rourt to the circumstances h€ 
has suggested. I am nut perfectly sure if I 
fully uliiit^rstand the indictment, fuV i I is in a 
form I am little acquamlcd with. In so far 
as I am able to come at its nuanin!|, « midst 
th^ multiplicity of word** in which it is in- 
volved, it seems to me lo criminate the priso- 
ner for hjving been a member of th© li-itish 
Conventwn which met at Kdinburgh, in De- 
cember last ; and in being; busy to procure an- 
other Convention which never did meet, but 
which, it is said, would h»ve been actuated by 
principles of a similar kind. 

If, however, there be any crimi"^*lt^v' in- 
tended to be fi^ed on Mr, Downir, 
been a member, or concerned in 
Convention, I submit lo your lord^hi|>9, th 
it is not eompclcnt for the prosecutor lo bri 
in evidence any facts in onler to attach gurf 
to tlie prisoner on that account. In the pro* 
secution last winlcf ngaiiiist Margarut, Oerrald, 
ami others, for >>eiug concerned in that Con- 
vention, the 1 ' ' ' ^ 1 1 IVIr. 
Uownicasa^' - s^ivt' 
a fair and tiill i^, i rri.t ,,.v, i . ^iiceive, 
that by Ibc law r>f ihi» cotintry, no person, 

adduced in Sll'^b ( Jrrtmt^liiH r s A*s A vvitni-ss, 

can, after hav r v 

heldliabfetol- , i ; 

been concerned m that alleged cruiHmil »»rt\ 
The very brinj^in:^ him us a witnc^*;^ entitles 
him to 1 d against any ; i^ 

on that . i^or vim any m -, 

tending to 5hu\v i\\< r lUai yon* 

vention, or of hish < mcd in it, 

be ...\. - ' - -.^ ' : [ 

broi 1 1 

for ' -^ i'iy 

so *<i 1 to be 

90clcj.ii, ....,..., - --,-,:..,., 1 hiiiiH 

• See the : 
tioti i^refiwzd l- 



fit High Treason, 
that the eviUcDoc now ofitred can* 

k, — When Dowiiie \vas ciamiii«d 
tsvi thut ocrasion, he receive<J ihc 
(he Cotirt, that 
liung li c should mill- 

\^i inn uik any niLurtr OCCastODp OO 
ice whaUvcr. 
JMru/Acr.— It the counsel for Downie 
•id Uie MMjiclmenl with can?, Ihry 
bftf€ seen, that he is nut iti liiat mdicl^ 
cbftfged with b^ing a cnerubcr of that 
C«orimtk>ii, or any convention; I am nciU^tr 
acctiiiog him of th«t, nor tr) uij^ liirn for it. J 
jBifltf3aa$iog him of {.ndeavouring to procurCj 
ealcmg into measures to procure ft conven- 
jM^ W meet at a fuiure period^ and of excit- 
iof tlie whjects of his majesty to &end dele- 
gitaa to laacli conrexvlion, not a past convcn- 
tlOBf bm m fiilure convenlion ; therefore there 
ii ftoiiitilg in this indictment n-hich affert^i 
Do^nte •! all, or attenijits to affccl him, on the 
MQiv of the old conveiitron— I meati that 
«&tcli met in December ; but I will be candid 
to SAV, that I dg mean to give in 
ic€ t!i^ iitlHof the British Convention; 
tfj e for any thing he did in 

h^ lion; the clmfge against 

EAeeUiig in m Committee of Union, to 
emy mi pUaa and projects for assembling an- 

A. D- 1794. 


r Bfilich Convention, at a time posterior to 
llie fibfcrsion of the Britinh Convention, and 
Hking gw»ntff8 with others, with a view to 
oil aotlJMr and ^^imilar convcntian, at a 
fomA ibao t# come; but for that purpose, 
viiea I chamt htm with having endeavoured 
to cill ftoolaer briti&h Convention, and en- 
J to further the views of the laU, I 
tihow whni tlif Briliih Convention wa% 
iill what t t that convention were, 

■Miiacrii ^ I r Do wnie, but to explain 
Ibi acta be ftybi^etfuejjtly did. 

Mf. AitJtruther, — Thuse arc the mtmites 
cf Ski? [I in tiic Convention ?— Yes. 

MTli- — Ihal is a (ia(>er found upoii 

lit, fiuxi^iT. 1 ht» paper was along with it 

Mr. Taylor sworn, 

¥<Mi Ihfe m London i — I do. 

?n FIcct-blreet 
lUrdy ? — I do. 
I dry to the London Cor- 

, r of it?— I was, 
what It was } — It h an a^grt^gate 
f, of 5 (»r (»,000 persons divided mto 
30 in number; each divii^ion had 
a 4db3e«tp; Ui<f*r^ w»ii a ]>ermane4it com- 
ics ; they 
fu oin the 

qucu' ': liivi- 

^1^, ..... 



porl of the first comraittee, did not sit any 
longer ; llicrc wns lately a Committee of 
Emergency. The Committee of Hevision of 
the C<»nstitutiou brought forward a report of 
the Constit\itJun, founded on two heads,— 
Firiit, a declaration of rights, and secondly, 
an organitatioQ of that SQciet>\ In the de- 
claration of ri^litj, in one article or section — 

I do not want to prove that, but only they 
met for that purpose Were you ever present 
Ht a mcvbOf; at the Globe tavern? — I was. 

When waf it ?— The 20th January 1794, 

Who was pre&cnt? — Martin* 

Did they come to any resolutions ?— They 
did to several, 

Mr. Baroft, Norton, ^-^hstH was a gene$al 
meeting?— Yes. 

How many people might there bcf — It was 
said about 1|0C)0. 

Look at that paper ? — That is a copy of the 
resolutions that were then p;i.ssed. 

From whom did you receive that? — From a 
person of the name of Moore. 

Was Mr. Hardy present ?— He wa«. 

State what he said. — I called on Mr. Hardy 
by the direction of Mr. Thelwall, who 
commented upon that general meeting; I 
asked him for one of these papers called ad- 
dresses; he said he had none him^telf, but if I 
would apply to the secretary of the London 
Corresponding Society, he would give me on». 
1 wailed upon Mr. Hardy, and he was con- 
versing with two persons, one I understood to 
lie Moore» He said to Moore ** Have you any 
of those papers in your pocket of the general 
raeetinjg?" Moore answered, " I have not one 
now, if he will go with roe to Princes-strcct, 
I will give him one there." ^^^^y desired 
him to look iinto his pockety which be did, 
aud gave it roe. 

Vou received it from Moore, in the pre- 
sence of Hardy, as resolutions come to Ihat 
night ? — Exactly so. 

Look at that.^Thcse ara the resolutions of 
a general meeting of the London Correspond- 
ing Society^ of the 1 4th April^ at Chalk farm. 

Arc they the same? — To the best of my 
recollection they are the same ; there is a 
little variation in the wording of a resolution. 

Have you stated where you received that 
p«per?— No, ijir, I have not. 1- received this 

f taper in the id division, on the Monday fol- 
owing, that is, on the 2 ad April, 

Were you present at any meeting at Chalk 
farm ? — I was. 

Gn what day ?— Tlie Uth April. 

What was the meotiDE Utr? — It was a 
general meeting of the London Corresponding 

By what sort of summons were you called ? 
— There was information prior to that, giveii 
tit the several divisions, that a racetirig of 
that kind would talvu place that day. 

Were there any tickets delivered for the 
meeting ? — There waa. 

How matiy people might be thert?'-U wi 
supposed between 2 and 3,000. 





Where is ChaJk farm ?— In the road from I 
Lotidun to Hampslead. 

Did ihey ever meet in Store street ?— It was 
proposed to meet i» a private room in Store 

Why did they not? — It was said they re- 
ceived ootitf froni a magistrate to the man of 
the house, not tu permit the meeting; two 
persons were fixed at the door of the house in 
Store street, No. 8, witli small slips of paper, 
with words printed upon it, " Chalk farm, 
Hampstead road." 

Did that paper come to the committee ? — 

Where did you receive that paper? — In the 
2d division, on Monday the 21st April, 

from whom? — From Hardy; he brought 
them into the division ; I i^onccived him to 
hring them in his ofiicial capacity, as secre- 
tary of the society ; he laid them upon the 
table for the several members* use. 

Was Hardy present at Chalk farm? — He 
was present; I did not see him take any 
active part, hut he was there. 

Who put those resolutions ^ — The chairman. 

Who was the chairman? — Lovett. 

Were these resolutions come to? — They 

Is there any aiteralion in them? — ^To the 

stofmy recollrction, in one there is; the 
words that passed in the meeting, were, that 
the present ad nitnist ration, in advising the 
present proceedings, was giiilly of high trea- 
son. In these, I believe it is rather put as a 
ques6on, by saying, arc tliey not guilty of 
high ireasolj by such advice ? 

Are they tiie resolutions^ except that dif- 
ference, in the paper you* received from 
Hardy ?-j-They are. 

Will vou be so good as look at the papers, 
md tell me whose hand-writing they are? 
^hose hand-writing is T. Hardy ?— Having 
seen Mr. Hardy, as secretary, frequently 
write, in tJie divisions, I firmly behevc that to 
be his liand-writing ; also that^ and that 
[holding different papers] ; and this I believe 
to be Mr. Hardy's Btgnature ; the letter is in 
another hand; the letter does not appear to 
be his hand'wnting; this also is the signa- 
ture, but not the body of the letter ; I also 
believe ihat'is his signature, and the whole of 
tliis I believe to be his hand-writing [speak- 
ing of several papers produced.] 


Where do you live ?— No, 35» Fleet-street, 
What is your occuoation ?—! have no trade. 
How do 'you usually employ yourTjeif?— I 

liave none btit fur m" ^ ' * 

Howdoyouamu -mlly?— I 

' have severAl ways, v..,., i . , ;.,..,... 

Yon say you are a member of the Corres- 
[ponding Society ?— I am , 
^ Are you u meiutjcr of any other societies ? 
—No, sir, not of that sort. 

Wh^ do you say not of thai sort !^Because 
llicxc arc uthcjB* 

Trial of David D&wnie 


Do you mean to say, that yon were not a 
member of the London Corresponding Society 
for any other purpose but amusement?— I h&- 
came a member of the London Corresponding \ 
Society for no other purpose but aunisement. ' 
I had no other view ; no view to give infor« 
mat ion of what passed there 

How long were you a member of the Lon- i 
don Corresponding Society ? — I became a | 
memijer of the London Corresponding Society] 
the 'i 7 1 h of J anuary . 

Do you trust to your memory for every thing i 
that passed there ?— I do not, I look somie \ 
notes of matters that passed there ? 

W hen did you take your notes? — Immedi* 
ately on qmiting: it. 

Did yoii take Ihem regularly f — I took theiui 
regularly after I came home, 

Have you your notes about you? — I have. 
Be so good as to produce them.— Yes, sir/| 
That is a large volume of notes ? — Yes. 
Can you favour mc with reading a small' 
pari of tiiein, only a few lines. 

Mr. Auilruther, — You may have all read if 
you plciise. 

Omntel for the Defendant . — No, sir, I do 
not want them all read. 

14 i7n«f.^The first is at a meeting of th 
London Corresponding Society, at the Globe 
tavern, t Itet street, on Monday, January 20th, 
1794. " Mr. Martin, by the upoellaiion 
of Citizen Martin, wascalltd to the cnair; he 
addressed the meeting in a Jiort speech, sig- 
nifying the intention of railing them to- 
gether, which was for the purpo*e of the so- 
ciety at large adopting the several resolutions 
that had l^ecn jirepared lor the occasion, 
and which woula be read and submitted to 
their consideration." 

Stop there, you begin with a particular 
phrase, Mr. Martin, by the appellation of 
Citizen Martin, — why do you say by the name 
of Citizen Martin? — If I am at a loss, ?ind 
misunderstood the language, I am sorry for 
it; but Mr. Martin was not so cidled, as he 
usually is, Mr. Martin, tut i.]iiizen Martin. 
Is that common there ? — It is, sir. 
No person or member of that societv, I 
suppose, would address another in that So- 
ciety m that manner? — I beg pardon; that 
was the mode of address of every n>embcT of 
that society in common; and accidentally 
meeting in the street, It ih common to addreA 
them by that name. 

Have you alwiiys used the appellation ofCi- 
tizen such a one ?— I have not Lilwuys used it, 
not consideriniE It necessary ; and as to the 
nunuteSi I m^idc Ihcm Jbr my own observation 
and amusement 

Did y\m make uw? of those minutes fur your 
own aifinv, i.i, nt^ T thA 

And *• them for your 

own ant ^ ' i niVM* It standing 

in tlkat sitiuiion*. 1 Kin bektre i^ud and tbjn 
high trihimnf, nnd would not ^ay an untruth 
for any > ^ ^*tu 

You aade them for your own 


S^y High Treason* 

A. D. 1794- 


imyicsikcnl, ftnO for no other purpose, and 

ynxh ni? ottitr view?— No other view. 

' give no informalion 

9^ i I uctions tcr attend Ihc 

if aiiil pasi^cd through ej^fimma- 
vxi asked whether 1 had made 
i I had> ftod I was desired to send 


' Vi nc ;j v% n (1 before the ffivy 

ammilf^A ' r 13th of May, 

' TcU ^^' Li lame there?— I ac- 

ddentii' i on the street, he said, 

• liat« ^; .. ,,,.^... . g*J to ll»e Globe tavern 
m rioet street f 1 have a ticket, if yoti will 
^. T,fjKi nuv he amused/' I did go. 

•dhtr, — When was that ? — On the 
itri ^ ary I went, I made myobscr- 

"'Hicard M\c res<*hjtions. Mr. Thel- 

reK>hitiofi5; it struck roe very 

IfSm hh manner. My friend said, 
ItM^lter become a member; I did; I 
tlhmaki ' ' i'i any member in 
btimdWidual c; j o as a collective 

Wy. 1 found thin imuh tplcs very different 
^om irlal I was acquainted with ; I consi- 
'y,»\ ii,..m and thought ihem persons that 
jrium the constitution, I went 

^fl for the Defendant. — Was 

ling you thought so? — Not 

lueiy — aX the £rst meeting I thought it 

t the 90lh of January 
\\Af<^ ^o cxUemely dif* 
'♦ ' ! nued to attend ? — 

I I uriosity. 

4i II > tri; yun i \c infutmalion to 

ivvmoietit? — I ily uuacmiaiiacd 

wj/ih e^rry j*cn*u m. '^^-tinmcnl till aftcr- 

*ther we rtty well known» you might have 
iliilf ^access to thctii?— Having so little 
IkMrvled^e of them, and being so IriMing an 
aufcridim], I never atlempled it. 

Did TOW e^rr n^^^rnt to ihc resolutions? — I 
w»Tf abiciitt led hy the manner their 

rew»l«iinrt*v J, in the affirmative or 

•t- ot hands. 

' ttame of the fiiend who in- 

tnaijrii v(n\*—i>o you mean my particular 
ibend? — ih€ie ts a ceremony of being intro- 

Who introduced you to the Globe tavern ? 

\ you to the society, — what 

lull mduced him to introduce 

ir. Jr^ifniflfr, What docs it signify what 

TfTfr^The question I mean 

Mid)' profess 

' or others to 

^ ly, or become a 

c y observations to 

him, in:rng : lie novelty of the 

be fc /lit as wriii become a 

V(wn tbe fier/plo who look you there en- 

tirely unacquainted with your political senti- 
ments ?^ — I went with my iriend that produced 
the ticket and gave it me ; — ^he was en^^aged 
himself, and asked if 1 would go to dmncr. — 
I conceivetl I was only going to join a con- 
vivial party. 

Did the landlord or any body else pay any 
thing in to carry on the society ? — Yes,* 

Did you?— Yes: the expence was 13d, at 
being made, and one pr^nny at cactrmeeting. 

Mr. Anstnither.—Thh gentleman ha5 de- 
sired you to state one part of what passed on 
the 20lh of January, at the Globe tavern ; 
be so good to state what passed then at that 
meeting ? — ^* These resolutions were then 
read by a young man who stood next the chair- 
man, whose name I afterwards imderstood 
was Ritbter, first one, then the other; then 
singly, and the question was put upon each 
bv the chairman, and most of them, by a 
snow of hands, were carried unanimously/^ 

Counsel for Prisoner. — I have heard of 
witnesses refreshing their memory, but never 
heard them read their notes. 

Lord Advocate. — Mr. Clerk ordered him to 
do it — ^He is reading his journal verbatim by 
way of evidence, just now. 

Mr. Baron Norton, — His paoers cannot < 
mistake, therefore I think he hau better read 

Counsel for Prisoner, — Were they made at 
the time?— Yes; soon after they were, 
" Mr. Thelwail on the conclusion rose, re- 
peated those resolutions, and commented 
upon them in very bold and strong language, 
recommending their adoption, adding, that if 
ministry attempted to land any foreign mer- 
cenaries, or subsidized troops, then to repel 
force by force." 

** There were near t,000 persons assembled, 
500 of which sta)cd, and partook of a dinner 
provided on the occas^ion. Soon after the 
cloth was drawn, Thelwail took the cliair, 
gave several loa^ts, — first, the Rights of Man, 
and sung many Republican songs ; most of 
those 3on£js were afterwards printed, and s<dd 
by him ijh the several divisions, and at his 

*' Thelwail aud John Will jams were two of 
the stewards on this occasion, — Gerrald was 
also present, and, I believe a steward." 

Mr. Anstruthcr, — 1 have no more questions 
to ask this witness. 

Mr, Clerk. — Y'ou say you were examined by 
the privy council, how came you to be ex- 
amined by them? — I was sent for, as many of 
the members were. 

Had you made any application to the mem« 
hers of the privy councti ?— I had not. 

It was not by your own means you were 
sent for to the privy council ? — No. 

Nor by any suggestiouof yours?— No, §tr, 

What induced you to come down here?—! 
heard you say you hvc in London, are you 
upon a visit ?— No, sir, I came down here 
from the privy council, with one of the kiag't» 

At your own expense F^ At preacEti. 



Trial qf David Doiwnie . 

Lord AdvocMts.'^Yoa were there the t8di 
of Mii,y?~Yes, I wai eumined before the 
privy council. 

Aim) Uardv was Uken up on the 19th )-~ 
Uu the 19th : Am I to receive those two 
|iapera now f 

Air. ilMTrN/A^r.^NOy tir, when the jury 
have <looe with them. 

Mr. ZaMjniH awom. 


liook ftt that paper tiry-^iee if you know it ? 
-- Yeiif air, I know it very we]l«-*it is a letter I 
found in a hook case in Hardy's house. 

Were you empkiyed to take him up? — Yes, 
1 had a warrant iruni the secretary ut state. 

You took him into custody, and searched 
his houaie } — Yen* 1 dkl. 

And you found that uaper?— Yes. 

Look at that, you found that at the same 
time? — Yes, sir. 

l€td ^(iMcel^.— It is a letter signed Wil- 
Itam Skirving, dated 3Mh May 1703,— he 
fytuvX thoi»e paven in Hardy^i hou)»e, under a 
warrant from the secretary of state, and took 
that man in custody, and the primed letter 
you will have read, signed Thomas Hardy. 

Mr -<lii*rriuA«rr.— What are you?^C>ne of 
the ki»);*s messengers. 

By virtue of a warrant from the secretary of 
state* vou took him up, and found these 
papers? — Yea 1 did. i 

AinMUHikr AUck^wn sworn — according to | 
the Scot* form. 

Mr. JailncrA«r.^Now recollect tliat you 
are upon your oath, and you will recollect the 
consequences of «»tandinf iu that situation. — ' 
Look at thuew papers*— m> not tell me what ■ 
they are; but whether they are your hand- 
wriUugP^The greater piArt are my hand- 

^how nie which part of it i» your hand- 
writing P—lhe list, sir, is my hand* and all 

What t2» the list?— A libt of the members 
uf tlie delegates of the British Convention. 

Was Duvtd L>>wuie a member of the Con- 
>eniiou' — It' he was* hi^ name will appear a^ 
a member. 

W ere vou secretary to that Convention ? — 
I was only acMi^tant to Mr. Skirvlug, who w-js 

It wa:» %uur bdsiuo^s to recvive the moiiuns 
ibac w«re ^iveu in ^^ Ihul wa» *^rt of it. 

U thai uame* ^ Uaviii Dowme," your hand- ' 
wntiug-'— [Nu dU»wer.l 

Mr/ Cut let . - You sii j vou would produce 
thtt proce«umg» ur the British Couveutiuo, tu 
show the tuientioii oi th«iii, but «ouid not 
!»(M>w any thiug in them lu >now Uavid Uuw- 
nie was ^.^Mlcerlkcd with them ' 

Ljrd AduKntc. — Arler the am»wer the S^ii- 
citor general gave, I irusi vuur luidsiups will 
hardly doubt 1 am euutied tii pruve then 

Mr. Clo-^— The answer nwde by Mr. Soli- 
fcasw y o cta l, upoo the nrriiiim ailiAd tn* b ; 

ppBcable to the present oftyediaB. We 

then insisted that you coukl not prove the 
procetdingi of the late Convention. But we 
norw make a very different objection, which is 
this; let the proceedings of that ConvenUoa 
be what they may, you cannot be allowed to 
prove that the prisoner was a member of it, and 
therefore, you are not entitled to produce the 
minutes with that view, or to take notice 
whether the prisoner's name appears in them 
or not The prisoner is not charged in the 
indictment, with having been a member of 
the late convention, nor could such a cham 
have been received by the Court ; because the 
prisoner was examined as a witness for the 
crown, with regard to the proceedings of the 
Convention. But evidence, applying to a 
cham which is not made, and which coukl 
not be received if it were made, is totally in- 
admissible. Neither is this evidence at ail 
necessary to the prosecutor's case. The pri- 
soner is only charged with a conspiracy to 
form a new convention, alleged to be similar 
iu its nature to the late Convention, and it b 
said, that the late Convention was of a crimi- 
nal nature. All that is neccssarv, therefore, 
to be proved, with regard to the Lte Conven- 
tion, is, that it was ol a criminal nature ; and 
it is of no consequence tu the prosecutor's 
case, whether the prisoner was a member v>f 
it or not 

Mr. AmtirMtker, — I charge him with con- 
tinuing to promote the views of the British 
convention, and being aiding and assisting 
towards calling another and similar conven- 
tion ; in order to prove what auother and simi- 
lar convention was, 1 must prove what this 
was, and that Downie knew what it was. 

Mr. Ca^/en.— Mr. An*truther's answer to 
me was^ I do not care whether iX>wnie was a 
member of the British Convention or not ; all 
1 mean to show is> a convention then met, and 
had certain objects iu their view, and came to 
certftin resolutions; — that is what Mr. An- 
struther had alone in his mind : now. he goes 
to show David Duwnie was a oiettiber of that 
Convention, which I aoprehend has notbimr 
to do with the case; and any tiling ci.oceniiug 
David Duwuie with the Convention, or in 
that Convention, is nut now to be ^ue into 
consistently with the as^u^ances he' received 
on the turuier trials, that he was not to be 
brought into questiun for iL 

Mr. JnjtfmfiMfr.— I thought the objection 
made, and [ answered iL 

Mr CUrk. — It seems to be acknuwiedged, 
on ail hands, that they went upon uuwarniut- 
abie proceedings; they were cnap^ed witn 

Mr. .Jfulm/Acr.—ReiiHjve the witness. 

Mr. L'Urk. — We have loniicnv ueard it 
suted, from the highest auuiunt^ un the 
bench, that to siy a luau iiau :)tvii a member 
uf that convention, wai» to atcuse rum of tile 
criuM oi 9«ditiou. But accvniiu:^ lu tiM doc- 
tnnea laid down since this court ~waa opened, 
the onniiuctot'tiiMt convention aaMmutodtna 
GiinM somewhat higher tliao sediliBB; in 

J^r High Treasan* 

Mc. Ami the lord ad* 

aid, that the London 

, wilU wtiich the late 

cted^ bad tre^bao cable 

h the plain ini'er- 

iilioHf before iU 

^iMHji, t>i high treason. It 

I CbUuw, that by pri^vtn^ the prisoner to 

ihfrt^ ^ rr^. ...i.f , .,f iiiLi ' oQvention, a 

be proved 

> I. ... , -ed, that he 

ftiamasoqf U> t lit. This is 

ilt4R| fkiiti ivn ;iDd directly 

•t M«r^ ju he IWU6 exuiuuied as a witness 

I ctovm, tvilh rf*urd to the proceedings 

B cotline4i I lC would create an iiu* 

minds of the jury, and 

ijufi^i vvliich they are to 

Ltv I r is indicted for 

un, and inc jarv ire to determine by 

let, whelhor he Uma been guitty of 

I ID U ar 

•r^dllMillier u,' nor lated ni the 

adictaKllL Thi§i%i^' i i and perplex 

Ibt JBfY witii distinction! between treasons 
thM^Hl but not |>rovad, and treasons proved 
tut BOl ekajgnJ. 

Mx. .ijHl^itAer, — He is not Indicted for 
bnf » membcf of the British Convention, or 
iff Mf tUilg be did there. 

Xj*^ '^ ' ' ,so the question 

W9g y. ** Do you know 

ibaifli^ pii»u4irLr ii«u at:ct'>» to bc acquainted 
villi lliopf<M«adiiig»of thai fust Convetmou ?'^ 
Qaf« fmt tnj objeOion Uj that ? 
Mr. Cmiien and Mr, C?/<fril;.— No. 
Lard Ad^9<rate.—l have no ot^Jection to its 

^ pBi ia Ihjit way— call in the witness^ 
IW Fte^idcnt, — Mr. Aitche^n, take no* 
I d^noi mean lo a&k wJiether Mr. Dow- 
417 ficil a member of that Convention, 
I pol tills ouf^tiim to you, — ila you know 
Wr. bownie hud acce*s to know 
wMvareth '>fthe first Convene 

tinof— Bad tss to know the 

laimBof liv ' itCuMvention 

V9^ ! he had ac- 

lo Mtevi *x ii'.m in^>^-|..ip€rs ; and a 

A. D, 179i. 


CI iir^> .^-[uipers ; 

MnlNsr af people were visitor?; he might 

Ham «Deei9; but whether he had or not 

I of It, I cuunottell; he certainly 

1^ ai.'J th< tnihhc had access. 

OojfDu \- » id atcc^ yoyrself? — I 

hgrr %cen ) 

your own hand writing?— > 

\1 ii£tc ii. ! ?— I wrote tUat I 

IkiakifiUk: 'nion* 

Wbit ts UK LlJte ul ilf--i tliiiik it has no 

I>» yon kiHMr €kors« Ko«^'s hjvnd-writing ? 
— Vea, I b9«i: a giii^ ^t it. 

Uf. CWii^,— .Therr ■- ' — T submit 

t>|vtfr loiilA|iip«» bei tt to be 

d^ J4w, aut ofilj of ^^ ,L,,„ ,, I ,j; uf every 

other country whatever, that no witness can 
be asked a question, the answer to which may 
criminate himself; if be is called upon to 
give evidence with respect to the proceedings 
uf the British Convention, the answer may 
cri annate bimselfy and therefore I submit that 
the witness ought to be put upon his guard^ 
and ou^ht to bc told tJiat he is not obliged to 
answer any cj^ueslion that he thinks may have 
that effect. 

Mr. CUrk. — There is a very great diOcr- 
ence between the law of England, and the law 
of Scotland, upon this subject. In the Scots 
criminal courts, when a socua criminii ia ad- 
duced as a witness for tl)e crown^ he is told 
by tlje judge, that his evidence will not mili- 
tate a^inst himsell^ and eveni that by giving 
his evidence, he is secured from any future 
prosecution, upon the facts to which it re- 
lates.* He is therefore liound by bis oath to 
tell the truth, and the whole truth, without 
any exception of such truths as may involve 
himself in the guilt of the prisoner. It is /port 
judicU to give him lliis iuformalion, ami 
every lawyer who hears me, knows it is the 
universal practice. But, my lords, this is an 
English court, and tlie law of Eng/a/ui is verj 
dl&rent. A witness by giving evidence fof 
the crown, does not discharge himself of the 
crime. He may afterwards be prosecuted fot 
the same crime, and there are even cases, in 
which the very deposition of the prisoner, 
when formerly examined as a witness, has 
been used as evidence in order to convict him- 
self. This heme the rule of English law, a 
witness is not bound to speak the whole 
truth. He is entitled Co m^ke a reservation 
of such truths as wotdd involve him in guilt; 
and if any question is put, the answer to which 
would criminate him, he may refuse lo an'iwef 
that tjuestion. My lords, I know it will b« 
said, on the part of the prosecutor (1 heard it 
urged the otlier day on Watt- s trial, but it did 
not satisfy roe), that the witness himself is the 
best judge of what may involve him in guilt r 
and it is said, that if a witness mi^ht be I 
brought lo trial, upon the same facts with re- 
gard lo which he had given cvklence, there v 
would be an end lo evidence by a tociui rrimi* I 
nit. With regard to these objections, the wit- j 
nesa is no doubt the ultimate judge, how far I 
he is in safety to answer the questions that J 
are put to him, But every witness is not & t 
lawyer; he may be mistaken in his op'mionji 
and therefore he ought to be put on his guara \ 
by the Court, Accordingly, my inforraationJ 
is, that in England, it is held to be the duty J 
of the judge, to put the witness on his guara^i 
whenever a question is asked, the answer t<ll 
which may criminate him ; and after he is sal 
put on his guard, he answers the question of i 
not, as he pleases- As to tocii criminis^ I be* J 
lievc very litllo could be liad in England fronii 

• As to the evidence of n $ocm criminitf i 
the notes Vol 10, p. TBI ; Voh II, p* lOdS, i 
Vol 13, p. 10^, of this Collection, 



iheir evidence if they did not previously re- 
ceive such assurances as they could rely upon 
that they should not be prosecuted. They 
arc entitJed to warning as well as others, with 
regard to what part o^ their evidence may mi- 
litate against them; but they may hnd it 
more prudent to give their evidence, than to 
run a much greater nsk from not ^ivuig I heir 
*iSvidcnce. — ^Bul besides the duty of the Court 
in this respect, I am informed that, in prac- 
tice, the pnaoner's counsel are allowed to sug- 
§e&t to toe Court, what questions may en- 
auger the witness. The prisoner has plainly 
an interest, tliat the witness should not he en- 
trapped by such questions. — And therefore^ I 
do humbly presume, that the witness will be 
put ou his guard by your lordships, ag;ainst 
such questions as may involve himself in 

fuilt, especially where the guilt is alleged to 
e no less than high treason. 

Lord Advocate, — I shall not trouble your 
lordships with many observations ; but one 
thing dropped from Mr. Clerk, which wa^, 
that he had an interest in the witness not an- 
swering; upon which I must make one re* 
inark. Whatever may be the interest of the 
prisoner, or of the prosecutor, it is for the in- 
terest of the country, that the truth should 
prevail. — It may be the privilege of the wit- 
ness, if he chooses, not to answer any ques- 
tion; but the counsel has not the privilege of 
telling the witness, that he shall not answer 
tlic Court upon oath, if he pleases. 

Mr* Cullen. — When I understand the rule^ 
1 ^hall comply with it; what I am going to 
notice, i^ a case the gentlemen will not pro- 
bably have forgot, a very recent one. It was 
that of Mr. Purefoy for killing colonel Roper, 
tried before Mr. Baron Hot ham, A queslioo 
was put to a general ofUcer, to which the 
counsel for the prisoner objected a^ the an- 
swer might involve him in criminahty him- 
self; upon long arguments the judge deter- 
mined it would, and it was put in another 

Mr, Anstruiher.^l believe Mr.Cullcn's au- 
thority for this is no other than a news-paper : 
it must be otherwise : it cannot be doubled 
that the witness m;iy answer if he pleiscs. 

Lord Ctncf Huron, — ^ There is no principle 
more settled in the course of adminiMration 
of jiustice, than I hat no witness is bound to 
crimiujile himself in giving evidence. Jutke* 
ohvn i^ivG notice of this to the witness; Sul 
t lie doing it or not, is a mailer of discretion, 
which ought to rest with the judge, according 
to llie iiiluation in which the witness happens 
to ivc placed; the parties have no tide to 

Mr. Baron Norton, — The principles of com- 
mon reason and law, will not oblir;e a witness 
to give answers to criminate hunself ; but 
there is nothing to prevent his doing it; nor 
h it for the pn-suner's counsel to make that 
olyeclion: the lord advocate has not said, 
tlml be is aftcrwanio to try this witness, nor 
could he with propriety be brought to trial ; 

Trial ofDavki Downie \^ 

he is therefore at full libtrty lu speik i»it the 


Mr. Antlruther, — It is clear, the wii 
could not criminate himself in answering 
question, he is only asked if that paper 
Uoss's hand-writing. 

Lard President, ^In civil courts, it 
times happens that witnesses are addtieisd to 
give evidence, up*in facts of a criminal nutitrr 
between parties who have no autls 
power to discharge the prosecution 1' 
court of criminal jurisdiction, if any such s^vail 
arise out of the tacts thus meant to be given 
in evidence. In such a case, and where the 
question put tends to draw an answer which 
ma^* criminate the witness himself, I undcr^ 
stand It to be the duty of the judge, to give no- 
tice to the witness, that he is at liberty to de- 
cline making an answer to the question, on 
account of the effect which it may have against 
himself; not tliat the answer, if made, could 
be used as evidence elsewhere, but that it 
might lay a foundation for his being prose- 
cuted, by giving information of his own guilt. 
But, with re.specl to the proceetlmgs in 
courts of criminal jurisdiction, with which I 
had occasion to be well acquainted, as public 
proseculor, for several years, I know that it is 
common, and oileu necessary, to admit accom- 
plices in the crime, as witnesses against the 
prisoner, otherwise crimes would too often go 
unpunished. But I always understood it to 
be a settled rule, that his majesty's advocate 
prosecuting for the King, could not, after mak- 
mg such iise of an accomplice, or socius crimi- 
ri^s, bring the witness himself to trial for the 
same crime. Neither would it make any dif- 
ference, as very ingeniously suggested from 
the bar, that the person of I he advocate was 
changed by death, or otherwise ; for in every 
such business, his majesty's advocate acts oih- 
cially, and there can he no doubt that the sue* 
cessor in office, would be bound by what his 
predecessor did. This rule stands upon the 
principles of plain g«>od sense, justice, and 
utility ; and has been sanclioned by immemo- 
rial practice with us. I do not profess to have 
llvE^ same knowledge of the law or practice of 
England ; but 1 desire to be iniurmcd by those 
who do know it, how the matter is understood 
there, and in trials such a-* the present: or, at 
leui^t, I desire to know explicitly from his ma- 
jesty's advocule, whether this witness Mr. 
.'\ilcheson, orany other witness who may be 
adduced by him in this trial, d»>cs, or does 
not remain exposed to be tried by him for the 
.■jarne crime. If I receive an answer in the 
aflirmalivc, I shall think it my duty to in- 
form the witness, when a question is put to 
him, lending to criminate himself, that he is 
at liberty to decline aiiBwering il. Bui if I am 
assured that the wiine^js runs utiri^k of being 
prosecuted himself, iieing virtually or expressly 
liberated from the charge, so Jar as he himself 
may be concerned, in consequence of his be- 
ing called as a witness, and spcakini; out the 
truth la this trial, it will be luy duly to IcU 



■ I 

Jor High Treason* 

to 5peak out Ihe whole 
I saietv so to do. 

/ '.CSS, Ail- 

:; within 

u uiiv uc tried in 

uf this county; as 

■ ' T explicitly dc- 

uiy intetiliiin 

11 1& iriufj'ur 


, . iicssiihiy 

iict%d90rjf to ily j*rvviou$ to this 

roil. — I served a good many 
jf in this counlr>% aatJ I af- 
1, when I brought u »ucius cri- 
-■\ that my hands were tied 
t-ciition of him for any thing 
Dut if he \voul<l not speak 
U a I h ber ty to prosecute 
tlid not speiik oiU ; a 
^,.1 to the uar, and not 
Bg^ slumid that protect him from trial 
' offt-r.rp- when he is only protected tor 
ikupon that trial? 
— i am of the same opinion ; 
if be ttinf€:% to speak, he ia not a witness; 
Iscuaj he put back to his former situation. 

bmi Adv0C4xte,^\\ i)at the honourablejud ge 
lift Mailed ts perfectly right, and the law. 

Mr. A*^iinUktr. — I helieve that is correctly 
fWpnctice in En Poland; I know of no instance 
whmr a jwh ' 'J a person who has corac 

Isvird tolii: 1 given evidence : there 

IttPe been cajsc^ oi uns sort, where a person 
«bi b called a%a witness, refused to answer, 

A. D. 1704. 





'L ... 

ait fairtv : 


Iv Ir 






'^^ *nl where a witness has 

vc there is no instance 

d ; although certainly it 

[>ardoo, if such persons 

e the whole truth, al- 

ot entitled of right to a par- 

IV, to 5top the prosecution 

t were a capital oftbnce, 

)(:h wuuJd hail, in order 

" / to the Crown. 

it fit to say a few 

being tlic senior 

ourl of justiciary, 

ric years, and had 

icc 1 came to the 

" i^v of Scotland 

Lied, both by 

r baron* In 

111 every country 

ivition and govern- 

iti are admissible wilnes. 

us ; and, indeed, in many 

I be done» nor the grentV 

K withottt the aid of 

V few ruses 

i comphcuted 

■ "cncon- 


hy the 

tor the 

,,. ^*..^ ^^^ .vcn €Xii- , 

mined as a witness upon tliat crime, to whic 
he had been av cLs^sory, and who had not re- 
fused to give evidence, but had given evidence. 
I had conceived a notion in my own mind, 
that, if such an attempt should be made, the 
judges, who are to determine upon the law of 
the land as it strikes lhen», would not suffer 
a person so circumstanced, to he subjected to 
a trial, and consequently, that it is not optional 
in the public prosecutor to brino; him to trial 
or not, for that the court would interfere, and 
prevent such trial proceeding, although that 
case has not ^el occurred. Here the public 
prosecutor has thought fit to bring by subpana 
to give evidence, a person, who, in the Ian* 
guage of England Js an associate in the crime; 
and if tliat person should say nothing after 
he is sworn, it would not prevent him from 
being tried j but his giving evidence is the 
thing Uiat must secure him. I did not, how- 
ever, conceive that the question now iiut to 
Mr. Aiteheson, could have led to the aiscu^ 
siOB of this point, because he formerly gave 
evidence m a case that was tried upon a charge 
for sedition, respecting what is called the Bri- 
tish Convention, in consequence of having 
been then told, that his givmg evidence was 
to secure him from being tried for any crime> 
whether under the name of treason or sedition 
arising out of his having been a member of 
the British Convention, I therefore think 
there is no place for the objection in his case ; 
and, with respect to any other witnesses who 
may have been accomplices, I am ofthesami^ 
opinion with your lordships ; it is not compe- 
tent for the prisoner's counsel lo object, al- 
though the witness himself may decline to 
answer to questions, tending to criminate hnn- 
self ; but ifne chooses to answer, and gives evi- ^ 
dcnce, I conceive he will be secure against anj 
future prosecution. 

I^rd 5tt^»W(//i.^If an accomplice could no 
be protluccd as a witness, it would be impossi* 
ble to discover crimes. When such a per 
son is brought to be examined as a wit^J 
ness, it is not the right of the prisoner td 
object to his admissiblhty upon that ground ^'l 
it is the ri^ht only of the witness himself toj 
object ; aQ<l if he docs object, then the duty of 
the court is, to tell him he is not hound ta J 
answer any thing that may criminate hi mself|l 
and if he IS silent as a witness, he certainly^ 
subjects himself to be brought, though not itt j 
the character of a witnens, yet in the charao* | 
ter of a prisoner, to the bar. If, without obW 
jeclinL', lie ^hall give his evidence, it is thel 
tixed practice of every court of law of which El 
have harl occasion to hear or read, that he can*] 
not be brought to trial upon account of anj J 
thing he sjiys ; it is a protection to him that ] 
he cannot be brought to inal upon that ac- , 
count; but I see no business the court crany i 
Lot fy else hii5, to s«piLC tlo a witness that heij 
not to answer anything; it is giving him a hini j 
not to do his duly to liis country, and to tell 1 
the truth, — ^o 1 concur ia the o^\ti\OTVgLve\\\s|j 
fhe whoieCuurh ^ 



"Lartl Duminnan.^1 concur with the lottl 

J>residcnl and Ihc icsl of the Cairrt* that the 

Fjwisoner anJ the counsel have no richt lo 

suggest to the wilnesfi that he is not bound 

" > answer. 

Lord AbtrcromhU concurred in ihe same 

Mr. Cltrk.—'^^y lords, 1 see the question I 
_aean to pn lo Mr Aitchcson will come more 
properly aflcrwardi?. 

Mr Anitfuthcr (to Mr, Ailcheson).— Do 
{[you know George Eoss? — Yes. 

Was he yovir assistant?— He assisted Mr, 
Skirvin^ ;*long with me, 
' See it yow know his hand-writing?— I think 
^hat is his hitnd- writing. 

Lord Advocaic, — The jury will attend; iVe 
Kave proved some papers which I mentioned, 
lud the clerk ra^y now read ihem. 

Mr, Anstruther (to Aitcheson). — The mo- 
Sons thai were made in that convention 
fwere handed over to yuii, were they not? — 
Generally while I wa^ there. 

Tell us whether thai i'i one ?— It is. 

[Ijetters produced and read.*] 

CUrk ofArraigTta. — This is a letter signed 
liomas Hardy, secretary » No* 9, Piccadilly, 

" • In case?,*' says Mr. Burnett (ch. 18. p, 
|4Pid) ** of conspiiacic% or illegal combinations, 
It is often necessary to prove the general con- 
ipiracy, and il^ namrc and t>bject, by produc- 
ing the minutes or resolutions of the associa- 
[tioh ; and Hm is admissible evidence against 
I the party accused of being one of that con- 
I ^piracy, though his name do not appear on 
llliese minutes or resolutions. Nay, in such 
l^ases^ evidence of the proceedings and resolu- 
raons of other associations connected with 
I them, and implicated in the same pursuit, and 
Bven of the correspondence, wri tines, and 
ii r individuals connected witli those 

t iations, are admitted to fehow what 

V I . r uir general views and objects of the eon* 
|6inrucy m which the pristavcr has been en- 

Siged, the etlect of these circumstances upun 
ic case of the prisoner bein'4 left lo the jury. 
I 111 the inal ot Downie and Watt, for lugh 
jtrea^on> at Edinburgh, in September. t?9t, 
[the minutes and proceeding!^ of tlie British 
1 Convention, and the papers found in the pov.- 
l*c%&ion of iJkirving and Margarot, mcmbcra 
[pf that association, were ^iven in evidence 
'•^inst the prisonerSj whiU. in th^ various 
' r . ■ ■ ' r ■ ,wl, in 

t , the 

,< uof 
n at 

Trial of David Downte 


£itikk isiiin lUt (»ri^uei, «nJ add^cafKDil io 

j and h dated London, I7lh M^iy, 179S, and di- 
rected to Mr. VVilltam Skirving, secretary of 
the society of the Friends of the People, 

** Sir; — ^The London Cone«»jionding Society 
eagerly seiwithe opportunity of iMr Urfjtilmrt 
going back lo Eduiburgh, to rcqutist ot ynur 
society a renewal of corresjxmdence, and a 
more intimate cooperation in that which both 
societies alike seeJc, viz. a reform in the par- 
i hatnentary representation. We arc very sen- 
I sible that no st»ciety can, by itself, bring about 
titat desirable end; Ictus therefore unite as 
', much as possible, not only with each other, 
but with tvt^ry other society thn^tghout the 
I nation; our uctition^ you will have learned, 
' have been all v( them unsuccesshil ; our at- 
i tentiun must now therefore be turned lo somO 
I more eftcctuul means ; from your suciely we 
I would willingly learn them, and you, on vour 
: part, may depend upon our adopting the firm- 
est measures, provided they are constitu- 
tional, and we hope the country will not be 
behitnl hand with us, 

** This war has already opened the eyes of 
many; and, should it contiime mttch longer, 
I there is no answering for its effects on the 
minds of the people, 

third parties, and not found in the prisoner's 
possession, or letters a(klrcsscd to the prisoner 
himself, though found in his custofly, are not 
\ admissible against him. But in cases of 
j combination, general concert, or conspiracy, 
such letters are admissible evidence lo the 
eft'ect of establishing the general concert or 
I conspiracy, if written by membtrs of, or cOA- 
nectcd with it, to other members, wlieiher the 
prisoner or third pHrties ; and whether found in 
the possession ol the pri-w^ner or of third per- 
sons ; and, in certain causes, even thotigh these 
letters have not reached the persons to whom 
they weie luldrc^sed, if Ihey have gone out of 
lire possession of the person who wrote them. 
In Skirviug'scase, January, 17*>4. a letter ad- 
dressed to him from l*almcr(who had been 
previously convicted of sedition), and found in 
nis possession, was received iu eviilence; and, 
in the trial of Hountf^ ;iiid Wait, h»r high lnea» 
son (at Ediii ,ilenvbcr, I7<>4), letters 

from Hardy,' u, lo Margarot, Skirving, 

and others, and from thtin Xu Ilurdy, were 
wittiout objection, produced in evidence. In 
the same way, in Hardy's trial, in Knetand, 
November, 1704, a letter frtjni f% memher of 
tin - which ^ I'd, ad- 

dr- ut, then ^h, but 

wtsun I been intcjMjmfj, was re- 

ceived I of the genentl conspiracy* 

*'l.C': ■ r "-■" ' - *'-" prU 

soner, ^ nd 

K. ...M. ,;,^h 



■ . ^^ -Jc- 
hvtrcd or published*-' 

Jhr High Tteamu 

*^ Dursocietj bw met with nu lu- 

IMI^ fii£ircftheic&s we i^n on h in 

mm^iCiit und pulitical knowledge, Wusinoir 
j9tf and y<Hii tnuive all success, I rctnuin, 
cord»l(y, »iri your friend aud ttJlow 

*' Tuoif AS HAanr, Secretary/* 
^' To fie Setrciary of the wocid}^ of the 
frkndM pf the Feopic^ EdinbvrghS* 
tkrk afJrrai^nt, — This letter is HircctetJ 
•if. iiardy; it h dated Edinburgh, «5lh 

^Ali Sir; Mr. L'rquhail did me 

I piri > il on Thursday afternoon, and 

*«rj tter of the 17th curretit ; 1 

Bi4 * with t h e CO Dten Is of i t, and 

I la; riieeting of our so- 

er does not take 

hU I would iiave 

of your favour by 

u much employed 

io another lodgings 

f If cilhcr you 

If liti^ 




nd, or we in Scot- 

, arately the reform 

is^ 10 obtain, we should 

- J ic aur weakness, and 

uorance of the corruiHion 

utir lOiportant undertaking. 

ly the cxlirpalion of one i>el 

11 from the management of 

^♦ii. , i]r,i']-l:"i iiii'jht be given to 

^t,>w'iiiout ai, LI UiiL lilt: vitals of the 

adveidC to rctunn. Thcsie might 

ly *ce**aipli>thrd ; hut to cut vio deep 

i'lchces, to ^ive eJTeclual 

of truth, m Ikvour of 

' ' ^ ''\ in op- 

I liabit!^, 

. . ,»*,.^ ,.-,. --.i„c Uic final 

KT of darkness, is the work 

! iK.t i,[ a niiil; a work tO 

i period, were 

tdl now liis- 

ISC, not merely, or only I 

use of the common danger 

eiJ, hut from the en- 

I livcrsal benevolence. 

service that I can do to 

; rot note the union you 

■ I am happy to a.ssure 

I to discovered no sen- 

trt^^i ttjon, adverse to Ihc most 

iU)d broiherly union with iho aasocxa- 

r,,.J I 

minds of all must, in the 
hj* now turned lo more ef- 
'irui. Not one person 

rirre^vilv of it; tv llu: 

^f1**;\i%'^^>f^ * 1 tmh only ulraid that 
i>, was SO con* 
b resit, You 
ij icariit ytu ^^, from m 


own that wc ought lo be forward m this* 
we have at once in great v^i^gm perfected 
our plan of or^am^ation, and if we were 
m live same mdept^odent state of mind 
as the people of Kugland, we hhould bi 
able to take the lead. The associulioiis wit] 
you are no mort* [ fear,— excuse tny freedom^ 
— tlian an aristocracv for the guod oi ih<i 
people, Tlicy are indeed moderate, iirm, and 
virtuou5, and belt*.'r cannot be; but wr arc 
the people themselves, and we arc the first la 
show*, that the people can both Jud^e and re 
solve, if undirected by faction, with oetJi w*ij 
dom and moderation, 

*' I have not a higfier wish in the pn sent" 
exertions for reform, than to see '' 
universaily and re^larly associate < 1 
I am persuaded, Uiat the pre^eiu di^^a^lrous 
engagements will ibsue in ruin, and the 
people then must provide for themselves ; and 
It would be unhappy, when wc shoulfl l>e 
ready to act wiih unanimity, to be occupied 
about organization ; without which, however, 
anarchy must ensue : we will not need but to 
be prepared for the event, to * stand and *;ee 
' the salvation of the Lord.* Let us therefore 
take tiie hint given us by our opposers : let 
us begin in earnest, to make up our rnind^ ^ 
relative to the extent of Reform which WM 
ought to seek; be prepared to justify it* 
and to controvert objections ; let us tnodel 
the whole in the public mind, let us provide 
every stake and stay of the tabernacle, 
which we would erect; so that, when the 
tabernacles of oppression, in the palaces c " 
antbition, are broken down, under the mad 
ness and folly of Ihcir biipportcrs, we niayj 
then, without anarchy and all dangerous i 
delay, erect at once our taberoiKue oCJ 
xiglitcousncss, and may ^hc Lord himself I 
in it ! 

" How hurtful to the feelings of a reflection. 
mind, to look back to the wi etched ^tate ml 
which the Roman monarchy, enfeebled anili 
broken by its own coTru|3tions, left Uie nation*] 
which it had isubjected, like sheep without f I 
shepherd. They soon became a prey to everyl 
invader, because tiicre was none to gather off 
unite them ; had ttiey, foreseeing the evil, a*i J 
socialed for mutual defence, no robber wouldj 
have been able to enslave them ; they woulcl^l 
have given laws to all parties, sis well as torn 
themselves ; all separate colonics and nationtl 
woukl have sought their alliance; but nof 
having virtue lo associate and heal the divfc. 
aions, and root out the selfish spirit whiclij 
ambition-fostering governments procure tiil 
their subjects, they fell under opnression9|| 
from under whose iron sccplcc they ha^'^J 
never yet been able to deliver themselves* 1 

" We may suppose an event which we de« | 
precate, nay should we not be prepared fof 1 
ever)' oossible issue of the present uoprecof j 
dent'etf divisions of mankind, we have a right] 
9 nsive of the ahihties of our m«»J 

J so afraid lo dt^it^n ixom \ 
cmtiit^ tiiat, ukc men uJ delaA» vV^c^ mvy^ 


34 GEORGE 111. 

Trial ofDnvid l^imnU 


Tb«il it goes on ia the same hand-wnUng,— 

*^ Citiseu Gerraldt in an energetic, tind aui* 
mated addrc69» tjxprtfssed his happiness at the 
motion passed, and exposed im at I of the 
Irish parliiini ' Ida convention dill, 

** And CI I 'n followed him in a 

ni": ' ' >ved the influence of the 

ex over ihe parliatnenl. 

V i...v.i .^..._.L read and proposed the 

following I notion ; viz. that a secret com- 
mittee of three and the secretary, be ap- 
pointed » to determine the place wnere such 
Convention of Emergency shall meet : thai 
audi place shall remain a secret with them, 
and witli the secretary of this convention ; 
and that each delegate shall, at the break- 
ing up of Hyt present ae&skon, be intrusted 
wiiki a sealed irtler, containing llie Dctme 
of the place of meeting. ThU letter shall be 
delivered unopened, lo his coa^Ui€i3is, the 
receipt of which bhall be acknowkcigad by a 
letter to the secretary^ iireserved in the same 
stat£, until the period m%\\ arrive, at which it 
shill be deemed necessary for the dclegiite to 
set oft. This motion was seconded b^v citizen 
Moffat, and the same was passed unanimously. 

'* The following citizens were nominated 
with tlie secretary, a secret committee on tbis 
business; viz. Margaiot, Jo. Clerk, and 
Browne, and they were requested to devjse 
the best possible means of conveying this in- 
timation to those societies whose views were 
the same with ours, but may not have dele- 
gates at this convention/* 

Ckrk of Arraigns. — This is a ipaper indors- 
ed, Mr. S*mclair*s Amendment ot iMr. Callen- 
dcr's Motion. 

** That the convention, considerinjg tliecalor 
nwtousconsequences ofan^act of the fegislature 
which may tend to deprive the whole, or any 
part of the people of their undoubted right to 
meet, cither by themselves, or by delegation, 
to discuss any matter relative to their common 
interest, whether of a public or private nature, 
and holding the .same to be totally iocop sis- 
lent with the first principles and safely of so- 
ciety, and also subversive of our known and 
acknowledged constitutional liberties, do 
hereby dechure, before God and the worhl, 
that we shall follow the wholesome example 
of former times, by paying no regard to any 
act, which shall militate against the constitu- 
tion of our country, and shall continue to as- 
semble, and consider of the best means by 
which we can accomplish a real representa- 
tion of the people, and annual election until 
compelled lo desist by superior force. 

** And we further resolve, that the first no- 
tice given for the introduction of a Conven- 
tion oill, or any bill of a similar tendency to 
that passed in Ireland since the last sc'jsion of 
their parliament ; the suspension of the Ha- 
beas Corpus act, or the act for preventing 
wrongous imprisonment in North Britain, and 
a^nst undue delays in trial, which will ren- | 
der all the laws for the protection of our lives 
and our liberties nugatory, and as some have 

avowed their intention of im 
iion for the repeal of one of i 
of an invasion, or the admis^MJa oi ;uiy iw- 
reign troops whatsoever into Great Hritain, 
or Ireland, — all, or any of these, shall be a 
signal lo the several delegates, to repair lo 
&uch place as the conveuLion siM appoint; 
and seven members shall have power to de- 
clare the convention pernjanent. 

" Keiolved, that lue dctcgatea to any con* 
vention meeting under any of th* sr ralacni- 
tuus circumfe lances, shall i ly re- 

pair to the place of sitting, an*! iltinue 

until the number be twenty •one, and Lben 
proceed to business. 

"The convention doth therefore rt 
that each delegate, immedialely on his n j* i 
home, do cunveoe his constituent, and c«* 
plain to lliem the necessity ol' electing a dele* 
gule, or *h ' I II id ot estabhshing a ftmd 
without »! ^t any of thefee eutergen- 

cics for lu!) Ml iia^r expenses, Hud that they 
do instruct the s^iid delegate, or delcgatea, to 
hold themselves ready to depart, at an hour's 

Paper of the tltb day'd sitting read, dated 
30th November, 1793. 

^' A motion ot David Downie, to 6nc thofre 
members who did not attend their &ectionfi» 

** Tiie order of the day was called for, 

^ A motion tor drawing out a scroll of a pe- 
tition lo parliament, which being read| the 
order oi the day was moved upon iV^ 

Paper of the J2ih Mtling read, dated» 
** Monday, ad December, 1793, first year 
British Convention. 

** Citizen John Clark, mason,in lhechair,and 
citizens Downie and Komanes, assistants at 
the table. 

** Read the minutes of the last sitting. 

** Upon its being raovedi that citizen Smith's 
motion ibr petitfoning parliainenl be dis^ 
cussed iinmeaiately, it was agreed, that citi- 
zen Smith should withdraw it, and present 

Cirrk of Arraigns — This is the hand-wril- 
ingof Aitcheson, 

•• Citizens Alexander Scott, and A, Calen- 
dar moved, that the British Convei^tion take 
uudcf consideration a resolution passed at the 
fast meeting of the Scots Convention to peti- 
tion the Commcns House of parlLimcnl tor a 
parliamentary reform. 

Citizens James Smith, and Peter Wood, 
nioved, that ihb Convent ion lake under con- 
sideration, whclhcr, afttr the contemptible 
manner in which the late petitions for parlia- 
mentary reform were treated, they shall again 
petition for Reform, or at what period tney 
should recommend the same to their consti- 

Li)rd AdDQcatc^^ow read the copy of 
the refsolulions that Tavlo? proved. 

Cierk of Arraigns. — rhese are the general 
resolutions made at the general meeti nj5 qf 
the I^jndon Corrcs^jonding Society, hehf at 
the Globe tavem> tlcet Street, on Monday 20th 

Januiry, 4794, citizen John Martin in the 
cbftir. Tbc following address to the people 
of Great Britain and Ireland, was read and 
agreed to. 

** Citizens*— We find the nation involved in 
a w;ir, by which, in the coarse of one cam- 
paign, immense numbers of our countrynien 
nave been ulatightered, a vast expense has 
been incurred: our trade, commerce, and ma- 
nufactures are almost destroyed, and many of 
miT manuKicturcrs and artists are mined, and 
their famihes starving. 

" To add to our affliction, we have reason 
to expect, that other taxes will soon be added 
to the intolerable load of imposts and impo- 
sitions, with which we are alreadjr over- 
whelmed, for the purpose of defraying the 
expenses which have been incurred in a fruit- 
less crusade, to re-establish the odious des- 
potism of France. 

** When we contemplate the principles of 
this war, we confess ourselves to be tmahle to 
approve of it, as a measure either of justice or 
discretion ; and, if we are to form our calcula- 
tion of the result, from what has already 
p«ssed, we can only look forward to defeat, 
and the eternal disgrace of the British name. 

" While we are thus engaged in an expen- 
sive and ruinous foreign war, our slate at 
home is not less deplorable. 

" We arc every day told by those persons 
who arc interested in supporting the corrup- 
tion list, and an innumerable host of sinecure 
placemen, that the constitution of England 
Js theperlection of human wisdom ; that our 
laws (we 5.hould rather say their laws) are 
the perfeclion of juslice, and that their admi- 
nistration of ttiosc laws is so impartial, and so 
ready^ as to afford an equal remedy both to 
the nch, and to the poor, by means of which 
we arc said to be placed in a state of absolute 
freedom; and tnat our rights, and liberties, 
are so well secured to us. as lo render all in- 
vasion of them impossible. 

•• When we ask how we enjoy these trans- 
cendent privileges we are referred to Magna 
Charta, and the Bill of Rights; and the glo- 
rious RcvoKitiou, in the year 168^^ is held out 
tu us as the bulwark of British Uberty. 

** Citizens, 

** We have referred to Magna Charta to the 
Bill of Rights and the lie volution, and we 
certainly do find, that our ancestors did esta- 
blish wise and wholesome laws» but we as 
fcttainly find, that of the venerable constitu- 
tion of our ancestors, hardk a vestige remains. 
I "^ The only chapters of'^ the great cliarter 
I which arc now in legal existence, are the 14th 
I and 29tli, 

! " The important provision of the 14th chap- 
! icr runs thus : 

"A freeman slmll not be amerced for a 
small fault, hut after tht.- manner of the fault; 
and for a great taull, after tht- greatness there- 
of, saving to him his contcnement ; and a 
mcrcliani^ likewise, saving to him hi« mer- 
chandise; and any other's villain than ours, 

shall be likewise amercedi saving lo him his 
wainnge ; and none of the said amerciaments 
shall be assessed, but by the oath of honest 
and lawful men of the vicinage. 

** But by the usurped power of the judges in 
assessing fines (and what fines I !) in the cases 
of raisdemeanor, this glorious right of the 
fubject^ of having these fines assessed by the 
jury, (the only possible protection from sla- 
very, and the vilest oppressiod) ii unjtistly^ 
and infamously ravished from us." 

*• The provision of the aQth chap, nmft 

** Na freeman shall be taken or imprisoned 
Of be disseised of his freehold or liberties, or 
free customs, or be out la wed, or exiled, or 
any otherwise destroyed ; nor we will not pass 
Mpon him, nor condemn him, but by the iaw^ 
ful judgment of liis peers, or by the'law of the 
land; we will sell to no man, we will not 
deny or defer to any man, either justice or 

** The various methods now in constant 
practice, by which the benefits of this prori- 
sion are totally defeated, and destroyed, might 
induce us to suppose that the great charter 
has been repealed, if we did not assuredly 
know it ii* the fundamental basis of our con- 
stitution, which even the real representatives 
f)f Ihe people (much less the miserable nomi- 
nees ot Hclsloneand old Sarum) have not tlie 
right, nor (as we tnis^t H will be found by ex- 
pericnce) the power to repeal ; yet what do 
we inntl in practice ? unconstitutional and ille- 
gal mforniatlons, ex-ojjicio ; that is, the arbi- 
Uury will of the king^s attorney general, 
usurping the office of the accusing jury, and 
the interested oath of a vile common infor- 
mer, with the judgment of as vile a common 
trading or pensioned justice, substituted in 
Uie room of our birth-right, and impartial 
trial by oUr country. 

•* Add to thi*, tliat the exorbitant expense 
of judicial proceedings, the novel practice of 
arbitrarily aud repeatedly aniiuiling the ver- 
dicts of juries, ana the dilatory practice of the 
courts, uiost openly and shamefullv contradict 
the clavise which forbids the dcuial, the delay, 
and the sale of justice. 

** A man accused of felony (for which, by 
the common law of England, his life and 
goods are forfeited) may be bailed, on finding 
two securities for 40/. each, but upon a charge 
of misdemeanor, by words only, bail to the 
amoiml oi t,CM>0/. has been demanded. 

" Upon conviction also for such misdemea- 
nor, enormous fines, long and cruel tmpnson- 
inents, unknown to our ancient Iliws, and 
unsanctioned by any new statutes, have <rf 
late (and but of late} been too frequently, 
and too oppressively infiicted, ami all this, al- 
Ihongh by thiv Bill of Rights it is declared 
that exrcHsive bail shall not be demanded, oor 
cruel and unusual punishments intlicled. 

»* If we look to Ireland, we find that ac- 
knowledged privilege of the people, to meet 
for the support and protection of their a%ti.^ 

«7] 34 GEORGE UL 

«]id liberties, is attempted by terror to be to- 
Icco away, by a Jute infamous act of parlia- 
.meut, whibt titles of honour— no, but of dis- 
honour are lavished, and new sources of cor- 
rufition opened, to gratify tbe greedy prosti- 
tution of those wbo are the instruments of 
this oppression. 

** In Scotland, tbe wicked band of power 
has been impudently exerted without even 
I Jibe wretched foraialilyofanact of parUament, 
^lagistrales hiive forcibly intruded into the 
jieacehil and lawful meetings of freemen, and 
by force (not only without law but against 
I law) bavCf under colour of magisterial office. 
Interrupted their deliberations, and prevented 
their association. 

** The wisdom and good conduct of the Bri- 
tish Convention at Eainburgb, has been such 
l«s to defy their bitterest enemies to name the 
I law which they have broken ; notwithstand- 
ing which, their papers have been seized^ 
I made use of as evidence against them, and 
umy virtuous and meritorious individuals 
we been, as cruelly as unjustly, tor their 
rirtuous actions, disgraced and destroyed by 
Itufamous and illegal sentences of transporta- 
. tioo, and these unjust and wicked judgments 
have been executed with a rancour and makg- 
nity never before known in this land. Our 
i-tespectable and beloved fellow citizens have 
^■heen cast^ fettered, into dungeons, amongst 
I Telons in the hulks, to which they were not 

" Citizens;— Wc all approve the sentiments, 
I *nd arc di: tng ihe words, for which 

'.these our r< and valuable brethren,are 

kthus unjustly' ;uid inhumanly suffering. We 
loo associate in order to obtain a fair, free, and 
[»full representation of the people, in a house 
lofreal national representatives : are we also 
WiUing to he treated as felons, for claiming this 
I our important right, which we are determined 
Ifliever to forego but with our lives, and which 
T'liooe but thieves and traitors can wish to with- 
^bold from us > Consider, it is one and the 
same corrupt and cornipting influence, which 
It this lime domineers in Ireland, Scotland, 
ad England, Can you believe that those 
fiwrho send virtuous Irishmen and Scotchmen, 
lettered with felons, to Botany Bay, do not 
dilate, and will not attempt to seize the 
nt to send us after them ? Or, if we 
It cause to apprehend the same in- 
^treatment, if, instead of the most im- 
snl danger, we were in perfect safety 
'^* -«-.-■",. ■,,-.':- ^^. >, , ■ ,,. ^ny 

r ho- 

ur vlikvcry i^t ouia«lv«o 

Trial of David Dc/umie [48 

and our posterity ; will you wail till barnw.kj 
are erected in every village, and till subbidixed 
Hessians and Hanoverians are upon us f 

** You may ask, perhaps, by what meaDS 
shall we seek redress ? 

** We answer, that men in a state of civi- 
lized society arc bound to seek redress of their 
grievances from tlie laws, as long as any re* 
dress can be obtained by the laws- but our 
common master wlkom we serve (whose law 
I is a law of liberty, and whose service is per- 
fect freedom) has taught us not to expect to 
eatber grapes from thorns, nor 6gs from thist^ 
les ; we roust have redress from our own Jaws» 
and not from the laws of our plunderers^ ene> 
mics, and oppressors* 

" There is no redress for a nation, circum- 
stanced as we arc, but in a fair, free^ and 
full representation of the people/* 

" Resolved, — That during the ensuing ses- 
sion of parliament, the general committee of 
this society do meet dail>', for the purpose of 
watching the proceedings of the parliament, 
and of the administration of the government 
of tliis country ; and that, upon tJie first in* 
troduction of any bill or motion inimical to 
the liberties of the people, such as, for land- 
ing foreign troops in Great Britmn, or Ireland, 
for suspending the Habeas Corpus act ; for 
proclaiming martiai law; or for preventing 
the people from meeting in societies for coiw 
stitutional information, or any other innovar 
tion of a similar nature; that on any of these 
emergencies, the general committee thaU 
issue summonses to tbe delegates of eacli divi- 
sion, and also to tbe secretaries of the differ- 
ent societies, affiliated and corresponding 
with this society, forthwith to call a genenu 
convention of tfie people, to be held at such 
a place, and in such a manner as shall be 
specified in the siunmons, for the purpose of 
taking such measures into their considera- 

** Resolved,— That the preceding address 
and resolution be signed ty the cbairm&ai 
and printed and published. 

•* J. Maftin, chairman. 
**T. Hardy, secretary." 

" At a general meeting of tlie London Cor- 
responding Society, held on tbe green at 
Chalk Farm, on Monday the 14tb of April, 
1794, J. Lovclt in the chair, 

(The following letters were rcad»] 

" To tbe chairman of the society of the 
Friends of the People." 

** Sir ;— At a crisis so important as the pre- 
sent, there needs "" * I.--. ..,♦•- ^i q( 

the London Corr. Mi- 

dressing itself to aL ^...^- .i..,^,. ;..,-.! ...^,^ucs 
who have in view the same object as them- 

*• To the soiicly of tbe rricudj* of the Pco- 
pli- fij -uuRnJ- are not w;inilnr> to show tbe 

a fuU 

! Grc*t 

BuUiu. ib€y biive mvcs^ug^ka lae lubjeci 



Jbr High Treason* 

§9i ttoDJetvfs; iHe^ have <k paged to the | 
iporld ft scries of plaio mid mdiaputahle fkcts, | 
irbkll fuuit enclle in the mind of every man, 
•tildiipov^ lo hx% t<ni\\\ry, apprehensions 
•f ftfafm (or the security- of the xeyt remain- 
ta| veiiiges of hberty, Xmni which as Britons 
lit derive c« I 
^ Dc^ly with considerations of 

"'isiUt ■ : I Corresponding Socie* 

it lhi!» lime, the con- 

.A iLr. .r. u*1v of the 

MEmUorili specdi- 

IfMllie nm 1 admit, 

t O O t nrtcfitioii I cuds ot Freedom, for 

r|Kifp«Mir« n^, in a legal und con- 

Qjcihodi tt mil and effectual re* 

•Owr Is not nmde from the im- 

ijgMioii .iioment, bnt af\er the ma- 

l«»Hklibtiatj*Ln on the value and import- 
Met <iC the object for which we are contend* 
*^ , MmI of the difhcitlties we may expect 
Iboae who^c pre Hen I in t tresis render 
I jj^t.i., i.. *),., ...Jt ,,.> oniit'ir tuuntry, 
•• Thi i*crsons is no small 

*!' our cause; and 
• k ' ni pared w ith their 

■ [ - a depravity un- 

pBftOeled, ivc ini^ nx liic ptige of histoiy. 

•* lloiler llic a^l«picr*ofapo^tate reformers, 
%tbive lately beheld serious and alarming 
aQ«ichff%rf}t^ on the liberties of the people. 

*• Wc ' rj, with finhgnalion and hor- 

Mti li»f : and ptateably assembled, 

W(nt>a !>y ttnconstitutionai 'powers^ and 

•We^ -- ' niir most virtuous 

ytlbft has been an imi- 

totifiil V !Sso«jia1es, fecnten- 

cai to .ion, without the 

uf prccedc!nt, of 
r one wa^ heh* up in the British 
pnt, a% convicted and condemned, 
I ! Mjpon bis trial 

' Tl>* nipt*> aljo to introduce 

\ Uu^^ \uU^ Ibis country, witht»ut the 
lOKl of l*»rhameiit, and the intended bill 
Bil^'' (lis miijesty*s ser- 

\ «»i ully calculated to 

iL^i IMF mr f xislcncc even of the 

■e t nor can we overlook that 

lui u- , • ^* '"rcorniplion. which 

nldfi^, ' phmder, a tmia 

wmii ^ • society than so 

iiiAMkiis, ^'^ed bttsinessisi to 

thi firiei) country, one by 

• TbeNi mtm gri«vaiices which demand im- 
B c dal c redrew ; and when added to those 
m^ vltfch Rfp nt-<c«^*'UF!ly connected with 
•ftrjr ' ri of the people, 

■ft fc»T ^m of every lover 

if l«icv.Hj(jiLry 

** iWt mti. are VtM thai the present Is not 
te tviw icir rduffTOi and that in novation may 
Wm^mm itftoHioiiix* Arc those persons U> 
J^p «C llw ptoprr tixue to make a reforoa^ 


A. D. im. 

who exist only by corniption ? Are the people 
of Britain to endure every thing without re- 
pi umg, witbuul ardently seeking a radical re- 
form, because disturbances may happen? 
Have the enemies to reform told us whence 
th^se disturbances aro to orit^iuate ? Has a 
*u)^ie overt act been committed by the triends 
to iVecdom } Have not all the riols, all the 
public disitr' ■ nil the sedilions asseni* 

lilies, bc^ti ihc enemies to reform? 

-^And do I... . .,.,...; to tell us, that they will 
still find other instruments for their wicked 
designs, — thai they have yet tboHe who will 
act over a^aiii the outrages that have beea 
perpetrated in some parts of Dntain, and at- 
tempted in others ? 

** If such is the determination of these per* 
sons, hostile to a fair representation, let them 
look to the consemienccs : but let them recol- 
lect, that it has nappened, and may happen 
again, that those who kindled the flames, 
haveperishcd by them. 

" The Friends to Reform, are friends to 
peace ; their principles can be promoted only 
ny peaceable means ; they know of no other 
method of obtaining the object they desire. ' 
But, they will not be alanntd by the threats | 
of venal apostates; they wiN not drawback, 
because they have seen some of their best | 
friends doomed to exile. They will pursue 
the course in which they have begun, and 
turn neither lo the right nor to the left, 

•* Convinced, as the London Corresponding 
Society is, that as there is no power whicn 
ought, so there is no power which can finally i 
withstand the just and steady demands of ft j 
people resolved to be free; ihey will, there- 
tore, look with confidence to the determina- ^ 
tioUj and, they hope, lo the co-opcraticn of 
the soriety ctthe Friend-i of the People, ia 
the altiiinnienl of an object which involve* 
the dearest interests of society. 

"Convinced, also, that their intentions are 
of the purest kind, they will never stoop to 
answer the calumnies of their enemies; but < 
will, at all limes, and in all circumstances, 
endeavour, by firmness and perseverance, to i 
deserve the countenance ana appr<jbation of ^ 
the best Iriends of their country, the friends 
of a fair representation of the people of Great 

Britain. 1 am, Sir, —lor the Londoa 

Corresponding Sociciy» 

<* April 4. 1794. Thou 4^ Hardy, sec.^ 

" CmmitUt Hoowi*, FHtk Street, 

'* April nth 1794. 
** Sir ;^ Your letter of the 4th insUnt, ad- 
dressed to Mr, Sheridan, Chairman of the 
Friends of the People, was laid before the 
society, at their meeting on Saturday last : 
and they inslrnried their committee to thank 
tlie London Corresponding Society for their 
communication, and to express the alarm 
they feel in conmion with every friend of h- 
berty, at tlie late extraordinary proceedinaj 
of governmput, so ably delaileiL Jvnd so juwjfl 
reprobated by your society. 


" They assure you, lUat all the Friends of 
Refortt]^ may look wilh coutidence to the dc« 
tennlQatioD and CO opemUun of this society^ 
ill every peaceahlo and cunslitutional mea- 
sure, which shall appear to them calculated 
to promote the object of their iDSlitution ; but 
t^ey do not think that which is recommended 
in your letter, is likely to serve its professed 
purpose. Tliey fear it sv\\\ furnish the ene- 
mies af reform wilh the mean^ of calumnia- 
ting its advocates; and so far from forward- 
JAg the cause, will deter many from coun- 
tenancing that wliicb they approve: For 
these reasons, the Friends of the People mual 
decline to scifd delegates to the convention 
proposed by the London Corresjiondin^r So- 
ciety : At the same lime, they renew their 
assurances of good will, and desire of pre- 
serving a proper understanding; and cordiality 
among all the friends of parliamentary rc- 
fornij no Iw ah 8 lauding any difference of opi- 
nion that may occur^ as to the best method 
of accomplishing It. In name, and by order 
of the committee. 

" VV. B a ETOK, chairman, 

"To Mr. 71 Hardy, sec. to the Lon- 
don Corresponding Society.'* 

" The fol lowing resolutions were then passed 
Uttimmoudy : 

*' Resolved unanimously, 

Ibt, "That this society have beheld, with 
ming indignation, proportioned to the enor- 
mity of the evil, tiie late rapid advances of 
despotism in Britain ; the invasion of public 
security; the contempt of popular opinion, 
and llie violation of all those provisions of 
the constitution, intended to protect the peo- 
ple against the encroachments of power and 

^d, " That our abhorrence and detestation 
have been particularly called forth, by the 
late arbitrary and flagitious proceedings of 
the court of justiciary m Scotland, where all 
the doctrines and practices of the star-cham- 
ber^ in the times of Choites Ist, have been 
revived and aggravated, and where sentences 
Jiave been pronounced, in open violalion of 
all law ana justice, which must strike deep 
inlo the heart of every nmn the mcluntiholy 
conviction, that Brilons are no iongcr lr*re. 

3d, " That the whole proceedings of the 
Jatc Britisb convention of ihc people at Edin- 
Vurch, arc such as claim our approbation and 

4lh, "That the conduct of citizens Mar- 

[ guot and Gcrrald, in particular, by its strict 

[ conformity with our wiahc5 and instructions. 

and the ability, fairness, and disinterested pa- 

liiolism which it so cnuncnily displayed, has 

inspired auenlhusidsm of zeal and attachment, 

' fvhich no time can oblilrrate, and no prosecu- 

rcmc»v<»;and thai ^c will preserve their 

c>i engfuven on our heatrls, till wa have 

ft opiwrttniity to redress their wrongs. 

5tli, '"^ Thai any attempt to violate those 

jcmaiiiuig law*, which are iiitcnded lor 

Trial of David Dcmnit 

the security of Englishmen, against the tyran- 
ny of courOf and minister*, and the corrup- 
tion of dependent judges, by vesting in such 
judges a legislative or arbitrary power (such 
as has lately been exercised by the court of 
justiciary in Scotland) ought to be considered 
as dissolving entirely the social compact be* 
tween the English nation and the governors, 
and driving tiiem to an immediate appeal t# 
that incontrovertible maxim of eternal justice, 
that ihe safety of the people is the supreme, 
and, in case of necessity, the only law. 

6lh, " That the arming and disci phning in 
this country, cither with or without the con- 
sent of parliament, any bands of emigrants 
and loi eigners, driven from their own country 
for their known attachment to an infamous 
despotism, is an outrageous attempt to over- 
awe and intimidate the free spirit of Britons; 
to subjugate them to an army of mercenary 
cut throats, whose views and interests must 
of necessity be in direct opposition to those 
of the nation ; and that no pretence whatever 
ought to induce the people to bubmit to so 
unconstitutional a measure, 

?tb, '* That the untonBlitutional project of 
raising money and troops by forced benevo- 
lences (and no benevolences collected upon 
requisition from the king or his ministers, 
can ever in reality be voluntary, and the equal- 
ly unjustifiable measure of arming one part 
of the people against the other, brought 
Charles the First to the block, and drove 
James tlie Second and bis posterity from the 
throne; and that consequently mmietcrs, in 
advising such measures, ought to consider 
whether they are not guilty ol high treason. 

£th, ** That if lis society liavc beheld wiik 
considerable pleasure, the consistent respect 
which tlic House of Lords displayed for their 
own constitutional rules and orders, on the 
fourth of the present month, upon the moboa 
of earl Stanhope, conccniing the interference 
of ministers in the internal government of 
France, and that it is the firm conviction of 
this society, that this circumstance, when 
j^ropcrly detailed, will have a considerable ef- 
fect in convincing the country at large, of the 
true dignity and utility of that branch of his 
majesty's parliament. 

Vilj," *' Tliat the thanks of this roeetlne be 
given to earl Stanhope, for his manly ano^ pa- 
triotic conduct, during the present session of 
parliament, a conduct which (unsupported as 
U has been in the senate, uf which he is sa 
truly honourable a member) has, together 
with the timely interference of certain spU 
rited and patriotic associationt^ been never- 
theless alrcacfy productive of the salutary ef- 
fect of chasing the Hessian and Hanoverian 
mercenaries from our coasts, who,but for these 
exertions, might have been marched ere this 
m to the very heart of ^' i fry, together 

with others' of their n, to have 

peopled the barracks w*,m.ii tvtry where ia- 
iult the eyes of Kritons, 

lOib, '♦That It is the firm cojivicti^n ef this 


Jbr High rraiioii* 

libm, tliAi ft sieftdjr persererance in tlie 
MaKbald aiid energetic teutimcnts which 
Ittft Itlely been &vowcd by the friends of 
I cmnnot fail of crowQin^ with ulli- 
pk the virtuous cause in which we 
itnce, whatever may be the in- 
vpiDion of hereditary seDator^, or 
llMi}0HriUes of pretended rcpresfDta- 
truth atid liberty, in an a^e so en- 
Ii|blc]>ed MM the present, must be invincible 
mi iMBiii potest/' 

" Ttib sodety having addressed Mr. Mar- 
mtA^ their delegate, an address to] Joseph 
UcifBld wft3 n^ as follows, and carried una- 

' To losefih Gerrald, a prboner, sentenced 
f Mgh court of jusliciary of Scotland, to 

tSliAD bevond the seas for 14 years. 
iTe behold tn you, our beloved and res- 
pded 5iei3d kud fehow-citizeo, a martyr to 
tk§ glorious cause of equal representation ; 
Md «e cmnoot permit you to leave this do- 
fvtdsd eoniotry, without expressing the infi* 
■its oliiintioc»s the people at large, and we 
ill pirtkiuar owe to you, for your very spi- 
liild esotions in that cause upon every occa- 
^bm ; ImiI upon none more conspicuously than 
dviag the attting of tltc British Convention 
^" I pec^le St Bdinbur^h^ and the conse- 
Mding (we will not call it a trial) 
' of the court of justiciary. 
" W© know not what most deserves oar 
aiadaHk/Of the splendid talents with which 
Jon are to eminently distinguished, the ex- 
illid ^tftucs by which they have been di- 
ted«d| the per^verance and undaunted firm- 
Btitimlch ^ou so nobly displayed, in resisting 
the Wfooga of your insulted and oppressed 
OBVBtiy, or your present manly and philoso- 
[ ibfleriog, under an arbitrdT)', and, till 
L iinp ro cc dcnted sentence, — a sentence, 
_/llie niQist ^ndictive and cruel that has 
I pmonttced, since tlie days of that most 
i and cver-lo- be- detested court of 
_jiberv the enormous tvranny of which 
I int Cliarlcs his head, 
lyoUy&nd to your <^aociates, we feel 
• eso^t deeply indebted. For us it is 
larr - the sentence of trans- 

, the vilest outcasts of 
^» ihatyou arc condemned 
I ^'? shores of New Holland, 

, h4>wcTt"r, we doubt not you wdl expe- 
ooQMitenible alleviation, by the re- 
^of th&t virtuous conduct for which 
il ii InpOied ofi you, and by the sincere re- 
fB4 and Mteem of your fellow citizens ! 
'^Ibt Ci|ual hiws of tills country have for 
Mllieeo the boa&t of its inhubitants; 
tsiUier are itiey now rted ? We are ani- 
by the same sentiments, are daily re* 
t Uie same words, and committing the 
■iBt artiotM, for whkh you are thus infa* 
WMaK lid we will repeat and 

ttBiWMt have obiaiQC'd redress ; 

t«t are uii^'uuiiuvii j eithcfi tbereft^re, the 

A, D. 1794. [31 

law is uqjust towards ynu, m mi^icting pu- 
nishment on the exertions of virtue and ta- 
lents, or it ought not to deprive us of our 
share in the^^lorj' of the martyrdom. 

" Wc agam therefore pledge ourselves to 
you, and to our country, never to cease de- 
manding our rights from those who have 
usurped themi until, having obtained an equal 
representation of the people, we shall be ena- 
bled to hail you once more with triumph t> 
your native country. We wish you health 
and happiness, and be assured, we never, 
never, shall forget your name, your viriues^ 
nor your great example* 

" The London Conesponding Society. 

*'T, Haedy, secretary* 
" J.LovETTj chairman. 
April 14tb, 1794." 

*' It was also unanimously resolved : 
"That the commillee of correspondence 
be directed to convey the approbation of this 
society, 1st, to Archihald II ami I ton Ho wan, 
prisoner in tlie Newgate of the city of Dublin , 
for his unshaken attachment to the people ^ 
and for his spirited assertion of their rights. 

2. " To John Philpot Curran, lor his admi- 
rable and energetic defence of A, H. Ho wan,* 
and the principles of liberty, as well as for liis 
patriotic conduct in parliament. 

3* ** To the society of United Irishmen In 
DubUn, and to exhort ihcir. to persevere ia 
their exertions to obtain justice for the people 
of Ireland. 

4. " To Skirving, Palmer, and Muir, suffer- 
ing the same iniquitous sentences, and in the 
same cause with our delegates. 

5. " To John Clark, and Alexander Reid, 
for their so readily and di?sinttresledly giving 
bail for our delegates, ini-tigatod thereto solely 
by their attachment to hhtriy, uninliueaccJ 
by any personal consldcralion, 

6. "To Adam Gillieb^ Malcolm Laing,and 
James Gibson, for their able assistance given 
to Joseph Gerrald, at the bar of the high 
court of justiciary at Edinhurgh. 

7. ** To felicitate Thomas Walker f of Man- 
cbester^ and tlie people at large, on the event 
of his, as well as several other late trials, and 
on the developement of the infamy of a sys- 
tem of spies and informers. 

8. ** To Sir Joseph Maw bey, for his manly 
conduct at the late surreptitious meeting held 
at Epsom in Surry, 

'* It was also unanimously resoh*ed, 
" That 800,000 copies of ttie proceedingi 
and resolutions of this meeling be printed and 

" J. LovETT, chairman. 
"T. liAunr^ secretary. 

"Hcsolvcd, That the thanks ofth is meet- 
ing be given to the chairman for his manly 
and impartial conduct this day. 

** T. Hardy, secretary." 

• See it^ ant^ Vol 99« p. 1066. 

f See his tnal, mU^ Vol 33, p. 1051. 


Lord Advocate. — ^Tbb is s printed Icilcr^ [ 
iwom to be found in Hardy's possession^ 
algned T, Hardy^ secretary to the CkirrespoEi* | 
ding Sotiery- 

" Citizens I--' The critiral momrni i* ar- ' 
rived. and Dritons must either assert with xeal 
I mud firnmcs^ their tUims lu tiberty, or yield, 
without rcs^ivtance, to Uic chains that minis- 
lerial usurpnticm if. forging for Ihein: — will 
yo\i CO optTiile with u*. in the only peaccahle 
measure thiil now presents \iitU\ with any 
ptosipect of success ? — we need not intimate 
10 yon thjit, notwiihstntHling the tmpardlleled 
audacilv of a curn*j>l und over-bearing faction, 
vrhich at present tramples on the rights and 
lib-Ttk-^ uf ihe people, our nieeiings cannot in 
Kngluiirl he inlcrmpled, whhoul iiie previous I 
adoption (fa convention bill ;— a measure it ' 
is our duly w anticipate, that the ties of union I 
may he more tirmly drawn, and the nenli- i 
iwents and views of the different societies 
throughout the nation be compared, while it 
is yet in out power, so as to guide and direct 
the future operations of the Friend* of Free* 
dom. House, then, to one exertion more, 
and let us »how our consciousnefis of this im- I 
|)ortant truth,— If wc are to be beaten down • 
willi threats, prosecutions, and illegal sen- , 
lence*, we are unworthy, we arc incapable of i 
Jibcrt^ ; we mui^t, however, be expeditious ; ' 
Hcssfau** unci Austrian!* arc already among i 
US; and if we tamely submit, a cloud of these ! 
armed barbarian I may svhortly be poured in 
upon us ; let us form then another British 
Convention. We have a central situation 
in our view, which we bdicve would be most 
convenient for the whole i?»land, but which we 
forbear to mention (cntrcatinE your confi- 
dence in this parlicuhir), till we nave the an- 
swer of the societies with which we are in 
correspontlent'C ; let us have your answer, then, 
by the 'JUth at t'drtliest, earlier if possible, 

whether ^ -"^ac of the measure, and how 

tnany t\* i can send, with the num- 

ber also j! I L ol' your societies. — We re- 

main yours^ m civic affection, the Londcin 
Corresponding Society. 

"T.Hardy, secretary. 

** For the management of this business we 

have appointed n secret committee; you will 

judge bow for it is necessary for you to do the 


George Btm sworn. 

Xorrf Jdvacute.—MT. Ross yoti wcrt ifi the 
Cjazettecr office ? — Yes. 

Di> you know of any society or club meet- 
ing in your house, in Jririiiiifv, February, ar»d 
March last, after » i jn of the Uritish 

Conrrfitt«?n *— t ' ' was a society of 


' jptionP-^I have heatd 

it ' uauiiUt: ut t luun, or MimothiDg 


• rsoDt lliat Mpeatod to you 
t£> nuoittaV^tlW ncffOBm who 

ca Lij^ utt:i V 1^ I acre was a Mr. Watt, a Mr. 
aiockf aotnetimes. 

Trial of David Dawnie 


Who was Stock ?— 1 believe he i*ai a Stu- 
dent. There was a Mr Downie. 

Wa* that the man at the bar ?— Yet,— and 
Mr. Donthrone^ — I do not know iha exarl 
number that met, they met several limes. 

Whs ii»erc ever a larger number met than 
these four?— I believe there wa^ a larger 
number; but, as I said before, if there were 
two com niit tecs, the amaller coram itiee met 
with the lareer, i sunpoie. 

Then am I to unaersland there were two 
commiLteef^?^-! cannot he certain of that, 
because 1 did not belong to any myself 

Did you ever receive any printed letters 
from a society calHng themselves the London 
Corresponding Society?— Did yuM ever re- 
ceive h-om the London Concspduding Soricty 
any written or printed letters? — I never did. 

Did you ever receive from any person whatf 
ever, letters of that kind ?— To the best of my 
recoilcction I received one from Mr. Stock . 
That you mentioned before ? — Yes, 
Do you know the import or fiubject of il^ 
— From the import of those letters, I saw Ihe 
purpose was to tend them to societies in tho 
countr)'. I accordingly did so. 

Look at that,^is that one^-^That is olMOf 
Is it your hand writing?^! think it i». 
Look at the address ?— -As far as 1 know 
that is one that I sent 

r>o you sec the post mark upon it ? — ^I sea 
threepence here, the price of postaite. 

Did you send any to Tcrlh ?— That is tha 
one I sent to Fertlu 

Any other towns ?— To four towns ; Perth, 
Paisley. Slruthaven, and another place. 

£iirl/ AflvfKdH, — This is addre5*?cd to Mr* 
WttUer Miller, Perth ; the words arc these io 
his liand : ** show this to your friendSj and 
send an answer to George Hoss, Liberty-court, 
Fxlinburgh; nothing but ready money sub* 
scriptions received. 

H'ifnfw,— The post mark is March 6lh or 

It was about that time you received them 
from Stock ?— To the best of niy knowledge 
I received them from Stock; 1 do not partieu* 
larly remember wliat time. 

Where did you receive them from him } — I 
suppose in my own house; I cannot be ccT* 

Do you remember what time ?^ do not 
remember the time, but it was from him I rc* 
ccived them. 

Mr. i^uthn ^\ have no questions to ask 
this ti ;<riioner has. 

(The 3 he luid no quesLion t0 


W linen (to tht lord Advocate).— Am I «t 
liberty to go away after this t 

Lord Advocut§,—''Sov at present ;— I do 1 
Mieaii Io keep you a moment longer here T 
is absoltrtrly ntcciaary. 

WdlUm Al'Cwfcfcm swoin. 

Mr, 4iKCratf A<r.^Wh«l ire jrtnt t^A wriUc 

^T High Trcamn* 
ITfre jrou one of the Frienib of the People ? 

yriti know toy iHinij of a comtuillee, 
ilcd thrCofxiinitteeOf Union?— I know very 
fiuic iilnjut It— ii eitslied eoine lime btfare I 
w%» a mnnbCY of it, 

Wrrr you a member of it ?— Yes, I was ; I 

vi^ ibcTC IJOC1?, t»T twice, I believe. 

Upon wh*i occusion were you elected ? — 

vns, — tt young rai*n of the name 

^ ] net] to be a member of 

>,ti»rbance4 al ihe Thea- 

vet to keep the peace, 

r for liim to do tJiat bn- 

; , ii me. I said I thought 

iuit my convenience, but I at 

b»i aceepteil it. 

Tpofi thin person being bonnd over to keep 
lb» p<K«« yoii %t last accepted it ? — Yem^ Bir. 
Iflwi wftt Ihit commiltee to do?--! never 
L what it was to do^ but I unders^tood 
tit bft m uiiioD of ail the societies in £din- 

it to do? — I understood it was 
niea&ures Ibr calling another con- 
co-ojitrate with the Commiltee of 
for forwarding the money. 
Wbo were members ? — There were a great 

Do yoa rejiiember any of them ^ Was the 
'ftineaiber of it? — Yes, I believe he 

Too iiid, yot} under¥<tood it waa for taking 
MMttre* for calling another convention - 
liiicomneQlioii was it to bef — I understood 
Bl&tf Ui I hi" liif^t. 

mean by the last ?~The Bri- 

" - : abotii the Com m i 1 1 ee 

rlu^t? — I understood the 

r^ to l^e for the purpose 

1 the first place, to pay 

Hi] in the next place, 

turpose, and those 

[IS ; and in the next 

e, tM««^i«i4 luuiiiiy to (support the dete- 

^ ^ that new convention ; that is what 


> j\M know where the convention was to 
rl!— No, I do not. 

Waa it io be in Scotland or England ? — I 
frtn England ; 1 do not know. 
_ e not Ike delegates to do something 
lieaiiles re/f -■"- money? — It waa to 
pBbir eoDtimer imderstand several 

fBMQi^^i' ft^«i ..-11 about the reform ; 

iMbe wiabr rrsai suftVage, and un-' 

^oal^fTiai li'^rs thought it a violent 

lii ' was to consider about that 

^---, It could be obtained* 

• X^ntf ^i^ij«%itic — Were you a collector?— 
>l, ! wii«« 

the other collectors, to 

i>d»of the People to col- 

puiKjti?, or waa there a particular 

il^ed^— There was a particular 

IgM la tl»iD, but it was oot un* 


A.D. 1794, \b% 

derstood they were cotifined to it ; it was ac- 
cording to the place where they hved. 

Was it by dividing the districts?— It was 
to be the New Town, the south side of the 
town, the Lawn Market, and the Canongalc. 

To whom was the money lo be paid ?*-l 
do not know, it was to be accounted for in 
the committee, and they were to appoint some 

Who were to appoint them ? — ^The collec- 
torf ; and I understood they were to be re- 
spons-ible for money paid. 

Whom were they to pay it over to? — It wai 
not mentioned. 

Who was treasurer? — I understood Mr, 
Downie was treasurer. 

Was he treasurer to the cororoittee, or col* 
lectors ?— He was treasurer to the whole. 

Do you know a man they called John Fair- 
Icy ?.^Yes, 

Was he a collecter? — ^Ycs, be was. 

Was he distinguished from the other col* I 
lectors by any ap)>ointmeut ? — I came in one 
ni^ht, and they were met, and I went out and J 
left them; they wished me much to be in | 
when I came into the room, they told ma 
they had been doing some business % that 
John FairleY had been appointed a convener! 
I was a lillle astonished; 1 said nothing, and j 
they were to give in printed papers for them 
to collect money. 

Why were you astonished ? — I was a litde 
a»toni^hed upon his being appointed a penn^i- J 
nent convener. ' J r 

Was he to be changed every week, ofj 
month ?— 'I know nothing of that. 

W hy did you use the word permanent ;— It ! 
was oi'ily that he was to convene us, and sit 1 

Sit always,— for what? — As convener. 

Were you at the British Convention the 
night it was dispersed? — Yes, I was. 

Who dispersed it ? — It was the lord provost, 1 

What did the lord provost do? — He asked ' 
if this was the Oritish Convention, and the J 
president said it waa. 

Who was president f— I beUeve it wai 
Samuel Paterson. 

Tell uf what the provost said?— *The pro- 
vost said, he could not allow any such tw^et* j 
ing to be held, and he desired the presidenf I 
to leave the chair; he said he could not pro-M 
perly leave the chair, without the permission | 
of the convention ; but as he had got leave I 
before that to leave the chair, he was jiisl go* I 
ing, and he would go ; and a call was toi;| 
some other person to take the chair, and Mr.' j 
Brown, of bheffield, took the chair. 

Lord Adtocate. — Recollect and tell Brown'! 
situation; what did Brown say to the nro%'o«t/J 
or the provost to him ?— Brown ^aia, as he 
was appointed by the unanimous voice of ihef 1 
convention, he could not leave it without! 
leave of the convention; the lord provost! 
said, he must leave the chair; he had beei^I 
deficient, he said, in his duty, or he would 
have didpersed them before. ' The lord 


vost said the proceedings were seditiowt ot in- 
flammatory ; and Brown said, the publica- 
tion of their prucef dings tended to show 
that their meelin^s were of a constitutional 
nature^ and Ihcy Kept open doors to every 
person that chose to come ; the provost said 
lie must leave the chair ; he &aid he would 
i^ot do it, without superior force. Skirvin^ 
observed, he could not leave the chair, and 
ihey would not allow themselvci* to disprrse 
without force ; it was agreed they sliould cull 
in their force, and we should file oft' to tlie 
©thee side of the ball ; but Ihe constable came 
jn^ and the lord provost pulled Urowu from 
the chair. Some person moved ^ as they had 
been dispersed there, they should go to the 
C'anongate Mason Lodge. 

Did you go there ?— Yes. 

What parsed there ?— A vote passed there, 
that we were permafieut. 

How Jong did you sit it the Canongate^ 
sfter you voted that you were permanent ^ — i 
Not long. 

How came you to separate then? — We 
thought it unnecessary to do any thing more 
that ni^ht. 

Did you join the ConvenlioQ again after 
thai? — No, tt was many mouths after that. 

Were you there the next night in the 
suhurbji at a wright*s shop there? — Yee, I was. 

What happened there ?— The sheriff came 
m and dispersed them. 

In shorty the same thing look place that 
night, as took place the day before ?— Yes. 

Was any declaration made there that you 
had voted yourselves permanent the night 
beforei in the Caaongate? — I canaut rccoK 

Mr. AnstrtUher. — How long were you one 
of the collectors ?— Eight days or a fortnight. 

Where did you meet when Faulty wa* pre* 
aidcnl ? — At George Ross's. 

Where did yuu meet the next meeting? — 
The next meeting %vas proposed m Phiups's 

Philips was a collector too, was not be ?— - 

Did that mn " nlace? — No. 

Why did noi n^ lake place ?— It 

was on account o I .\jr- >v,iit,iind Mn Downie 
bemg apprehended; it was. thought the peo- 
ple would be afraid to come, on the seizure of 
some of the books of the society* 


Mr* ClerL — Y'ou were a mimhcr of tbc 
Union Committee ?— Yes. 

You say Downic was treasurer of that com- 
mittee^ — I heard he w*a8 Ireasurcx for the 
whole of the Friends of the People through- 
out Edinburgh; I could uot say for that 

Do you know any tliing about his appoint- 
ment?— No, it is only report, I have only 
been told it by some person*, 

^ ou do not know it of your own JoM^* 
ledge I — ^No. 

You have heard it only ? — Yet* 

You were appointed collector ?— Yes. 

Explain the nature of collector, ai you un- 
derstood it? — As I understood it, that night 
there was ^ letter given in that Mr. 
had resigned his place, and desired some 
Other person would take it, and it was^uc 
upon mcy and with some hesitation I agreed 
to it 

What did you understand the duties of your 
ofBce to be P — I mentioned that it was to pay 
the debts that were due by the convention. 

You were to collect money for that pur- 
pose? — ^To collect money tor that purpose. 

Did you collect any money? — None. 

Had you any access to know tlie sum of 
money collected for that purpose? — No, I 
know notbmg about it. 

PriMoncr. — Did you hear any thing about 
a hhrary? — I cannot recollect that, but I 
think I heard something about it mentiooed. 

Mr. Cltrk,— About what? — ^Aboutahbrary, 
about pohtical publications. 

Wiliiam Binning sworn. i 

Mr, Amtruther. — You were a member of 
the Water of Leith Society, I believe, Mr, 
Binning ?— Yes* sir. 

Where did Ihcy meet at the Water of | 
Leith I — I was not at the house, but some- 
times I belonged to a Friendly Society. 

How did the Water of Lctth Society call 
themselves ? — A Society of the Friends of the 

Did they meet any time in December or "^ 
Januarv last? — I could not charge my me- 
roary, i dare say they might meet some time. 

Did they meet soon alter Che British Con* 
vention ? — No^sbout 3 weeks or a month. 

You were secretary ?— Yes, or cterk rattier. 

With whom did you correspond? — WcdiJ 
not correspond with any society, unless it was 
by sundry delegates^ what they call a Com- 
mittee of Union. 

What wa« that Committee of Uobn? — 
It was for carrying on the business of re- 

How matiy delegates did you send to that 
meeting ?— 1 think there were S or 3* 

Who are they i*— One M'Ewwj. 

What is M'Evyran's first namc?'^rlhur ; 
Robert Orrock. 

Whttl is Orrock?— A Smith- 

What is M*Ewan ? — A weaver. 

Who is the other?— William Ferguson. 

Whfit was the reason of your choosing these 
delegates ? — To carry on the matter of He- 
form, by way of petition to parhament. 

What was youi reason for choosing them at 
first? — It was for corresponding. 

Did it come into your own head, or did any 
boiJy bid ^vour— No, we chose them so that 
we could correspond wit' --ly to obtain 
a reform in parliament <i. 

That was the way of w^...^^ ,,, Uy petition ? 

Who fir*L f ropo:.ed to appoint these dele* 

Jot High Triason, 
p««?— NwLckdy in pairUcuUr, we thought a 

Wm ii:«re do letter carat to you about it ? 

Wtui propo^d it in the commitlee first? — 
'"' 1 not remetubcr. 
^ Did jTuu itver bear of such a thing as a col- 
lects? wbsi wais the coUcctor lu do?— He 
1191 to mkc the «cnse of the Frietids o( thu 
iVafilc aad it the people he lipoke to thought 
|fp0|ier to give any money in support of' the 
c^tite, Of ilefVay the expenses of nuch as auf- 
(bed to support of that cause, such as Skirv- 
mt. 10 gilber money. 

Uiii jmic) guther any money in your society ? 

" ?*• 

lore? — About a penny a night, 
hm v4:mj give any thing to M'Ewan P — 
AllOQt tU. 

Wbtl irms he to do with it ?^IIe \vn^ to 
pie ii 10 tlie delegates that were to be chosen 
|t€OlivcQLioD some where I did not know*, 
I were to distribute it to Mrs. Skirving, 
fifce sup m that stood in need of it ? — Yes, sir. 
Wia it a* he liked it» or a Commtltec of 
Vmm wotild like it ? — It was the Committee 
fjr t7niofi, 1 suppose, but we gave it to htm 
ittcajiy tl there* 

lit «ra» to cftrry it to the Committee of 
Ctsonf— Vcs. 

i be was to pay it to the treasurer of the 
lofUmon? — Yes. 
Do yo« know who was the treasurer ? — 
Tlii was one of the name of Downie. 
|09 jou know hira ? — Yes. 

you hear w*hat he was described to 
whftl his triide was?— A goldsmith, I 

low these eolleetors, when were they cbo- 
Vftfrilf — Sume tune in March, I fancy : I 
leally charge my memory ; hut I 
I it was some lime in March, I am oot 
\ in the time. 
ktw yixi quite sure there was never any 
Idler or mcs5ap;e sent to you about choosing 
ti«e delegates T»I am notcertain, I am sure 
I mman recollect. 

tM TOtt ever see any printed papers, called 
• I^moasuetital principles'' ? — ( am not sure. 
mpidfounrer see that paper f~It was*' Fun- 
Btal principles,'' 

I did you see it? — It came to the to- 
r «oe otght. 
I taw such a paper In the society, but 
jpU know where it came from ?->-No. 

: el that, and see if you know where 
mm from } — I think I saw this in Ar^ 
Uw lI'lMUi'i^ I am not ccrt^u. 

Ko Crosa-Examinalion. 

flTils WIS t letter fiom the Committee of 
Vii|ri «0d MeAns that he looked at, but it not 
W»K jrct proved^ it was not remd ] 

Arihur M'Emnn sworn. 

! —Where do you live?— At 

A. D. 17iH- 


Wert there any societies there f— Yci. 
Wert you a member of any society there ? 
— Y>*. 

What was the title of that society ? — It wat» i 
called the society of the Friends of the People. 

Did that society send any delegates to tlie 
British Conveuliou ? — Ves. 

Were you a member yourself P^Yes. 

Did that society contmue to meet after the 
British Convention was dispersed? — Yes, it 
met after it was dispersed. 

W-4S there after that time, tmy oilier com- 
mittee chosen to which your society sent de- 
legates ? — Yes. 

what was it styled?— It was styled, in 
the printed paper, the Committee of Union* 

Were you a member of that committee? — 
Yes, the society appointed me to attend that 
committee as one. 

Who were along with you?— I think Mr, 
Orrock and Will jam Ferguson. 

What is Urrock J^-llc is a blacksmith. 

lie lives at the Water of Lcith with you ? 
— At the Dean* 

Did you ever attend meetings of the com- 
mittee ? — Yes. 

Where did it meet ?— At George Ross's. 

At any other house ?— Not the Commillee 
of Union. 

Was there any other committee, ofwhkh 
you were a member, chosen from that?—* 
There was a sub-commit lee. 

Who were members?— Mr. Watt, Mr. 
Burke, Mr. Downie, Mr, Aitcheson^ Mr. 
Stock, Mr. Bonthrone, and myself* 

Seven in whole ? — Seven. 

Had that committee any other title than 
the sub-committee ? — It had no name to my 
knowledge, but in the printed paper it was 
called the Committee of Ways and Means. 

Be so good as to inform us what the chief 
object ot It was ?— A fortnight after I belong- 
ed to the committee, there was a letter read 
by a bi^ man ; he said he had received it from 
Mr. Skirvmg ; the contents were, that the 
Friends of the People were in his debt, and 
he hoped they would pay it up, and do every 
thing they could for his family, as he was go- 
ing to leave the country;— to assist to pay 
that debt, and assist Mr. s^kirving, if he stood 
in need. 

Were you there any other nights ? — ^Yei, 
other nights; 1 found it was for other pur- 
poses, by a paper that Watt read. 

Esplam what purposes? — It appeared to 
me it would throw the country all mto confu- 
sion, and spill the blood of our felbw crcjw 
lures, from the paper he read : the contents 
run thus : that parties were to seize the lord 
justice Clerk, and the rest of the lords of the 
sesBions, and the lord provost : and parties 
were to be stationed at the Luckcnbooths, and 
the head of the West Bow, and parties were to 
make a fire at the excise olFicc, to draw the mili- 
tary from the Caslle ; aod, when tlie soldiers 
came by the lop of the Bow towards the I^ick- 
cnboolh^, they were to inclose [Uvm, und par- 



Trial of David Dcnmii 


ties were to seize the banking liottses in lown» 
and appobitcomnrissionen to go and demand 
the cash from them — ^that was the substance 
of the paper, as far as I can recollect ^ 

Who were present at that meeting?--8tocky 
Watt, Downie, Bonthrone and I. 

Was it a stated meeting— a usual meeting ? 

' What do you mean by parties ? parties of 
whom ?— I cannot say by whom it was to be. 

Whom did you understand by the word 
parties? — I suppose Mr, Watt drew it up, 
and he supposed the country was to rise to do 
such a thmg ; I could not understand it any 
other way. 

Were the people of this committee, if they 
approved of that paper, to have some com- 
mand ?— I knew not a man that was to do 

Not a man ?— Not one, man or men. 

You mistake my question ; you told us it 
was proposed that parties should be put at 
different places, the jLuekenbooths and Bow, 
tu secure the soldiers wheu the fire appeared 
at the excise office ; who did you understand 
the parties to be ? — I could understand it no 
other ways than the Friends of the People. 
' Now, what was done by that committee 
upon this plan being read by Walt ? — I ob- 
jected to the plan ; I said I by no means 
would agree to any thins that broke the 
peace, or shed the blood of my countrymen ; 
and Mr. Bonthrone seconded me, and said, 
'< no, do not do no such thing,^ 

Did Downie say any thing ?— Not that I 

Did Watt?— No. 

Did Watt ever read any'other paper relative 
to that subject, or show you any other paper? 
— He read another paper another night. 

Was that a committee night ? — Yes. 

Who were present ? — It runs in my head 
that Mr. Downie was present, but I cannot 
be positive. 

Was it a committee night? — It was. 

Was Stock present ?— No. 

Was Bonthrone ?— No. 

Aitchcson ? — ^No. 

Was Burke?— No. 

Lord Advocate, — Then Downie must have 
been present ?— I think he was present, but I 
cannot be certain of it 

Now, what was the import of that paper 
which, at the second meeting of the commit- 
tee, Watt read to you ?— -The purport of that 
letter, as far as I can recollect, was this— it 
was a copy of a proclamation to all farmers 
and dealers in com and meal, and hay, not 
to remove the same from their respective ha- 
bitations, under pain of death. 

Anything else? — Also, for gentlemen of 
the country not to remove from their several 
habitations, above the distance of 3 miles, un- 
der pain of death;— there was likewise an 
addr^ to his present m^esty to dismiss his 
ministers, and put an end to the war, or 
else he must expect, or abide the conse- 

Did any body say any thing upon the sub- 
ject of that paper ?— I said it was not a paper 
agreeable X6 the plan of reform, and I hoped 
I should never see the day when such a thing 
should take place. 

Do you recollect that Downie said any 
thin^? — I am at a loss to know. I said be- 
fore I do not know it is a fact that Downie 
was there. 

Mr. Anstruther. — You collected some mo- 
ney at the Water of Lcith society ?— Yes, I 
got 15s. from the secretary. 

Who was it? — Mr. Binning, he was secre- 
tary to the society of the Water of Leith. 

Whom did you give it to ? — ^To Mr. Downie. 

Why did you give it to him ? — I was in- 
formed he was appointed treasurer ; for that 
reason I accmmted to him. 

Did you pay it to him as treasurer ? — Yes, I 

Do you know a lad of the name of Fairley ? 
—Yes, I have seen him, I am not well ac- 
quainted with him. 

Is that tlie Downie that was the treasurer ? 
[pointing to the prisoner]. 

Lcfrd Freiident.^ls he the person that was 
present when the first paper was read ? — Yes. 

Mr. AnstrtUher, — Do you remember seeing 
Downie at Georf^ Ross's? — ^Yes. 

Was that a committee night ? — ^Yes. 

Who was there?— Mr. Downie, Mr. Walt 
and me; I cannot remember whether any 
more were. 

Where did Fairley come from when he 
came there ?— He came from the west coun- 

Who sent him to the west cotmtry ?— I do 
not know — I cannot say who sent him. 

About what time was this ? — I cannot po- 
sitively remember ; I think it might be to- 
wards the latter end of April 

Baron jVorfon.— Can you tell how long it 
was after this plan was read? — Some little 
time after— I cannot positively say. 

Mr. AntirtUher. — Did you see any body pay 
Fairley?— No, I did not,— 1 saw Fairley lay 
down 15s. upon the table, and he was oraered 
to take it up again. 

Who ordered it ?— Mr. Downie. 

Why ?-*-He laid down 15s. upon the table, 
and said he had it for a parcel of pamphlets, 
and he left the 15s. and Mr. Downie bid him 
take it up a^in. 

Did he bid him take it to himself? what 
was he to take it up for ? was it for his trou« 
ble ? — I cannot say positively, but 1 took it 
to be for his trouble. 

Was this at a meeting of the committee ?— 
Indeed was it. 

Did Fairley say any tiling about Paisley ?— 
Yes, he did. 

What did he say ?— He said it was in a state 
of great readiness. 

What did he mean by that?— I do not 
know what his orders were, I could put no 
construction upon it 

You put some construction upon IX in your 


for High Treason. 

own mind ? — I thought it still carrying on the 

Did you ever hear any body talk about 
anniug? — No. 

About the Friends of the People arming? 
— Ko. 

Mr. Solicitor Genera/.— Mr. M'Ewan, did 
YOU ever hear Watt mention any thing about 
t commission from Perth to procure arms ? — 
No, I never heard it, but heard him say to 
Onock, 4,000 were wanted. 

Was Downie present when Walt said he 
had a commission from Perth? — I did not 
bear Watt say he had a commission, but Watt 
said be had 4,000 to send there. 

Was Downie present? — No. 

Ur.dnMirutker. — Did you see any of these ? 

I pointing to the pike heads upon tlie table.] 
aw one at Mr. Watt's. I was going upon 
some private business. 

Do you recollect when Mr. Watt was taken 
up f — I cannot positively say. 

Did you ever see Mr. Downie after that ? 

Where did you see him ? — lie called upon 
me at my own house. 

Tell me what passed between you and 
Downie? — ^I had been before the sheriff, and 
Mr. Downie called up to ask if I had been 
examined; I said, yes; he desirifd to know 
«hat questions I was asked ; I said very few 
—that was aU. I only asked what was done 
with the money ; the answer was, he save 
put to Brown, and part to Martin Todd for 

Did Ee bid you tell that to any body ?— No, 
l-e did not bid me tell any thing of the 

Did he bid you not tell it ?— As far as I can 
RooUect what he said was, if he was called 
\:ym, he would say he did not know me, and 
it I was called upon, I was to say I did not 
know him ; I said, by no means, I would do 
00 such thing. 

Did he say any thing more ?— I remember 
DO fartlier conversation taking place. 

See if yon can recollect what he said about 
Brown amd Martin Todd ?— He said he had 
oven money to Martin Todd, Smith, and 
Taylor and Brown, for printing of papers : I 
Slid that was not the meaning. 

Did yo!i know before that that Brown had 
?n any money?— No, it was some days be- 
kn that he had called upon this Robert Or- 
rock. at the Dean, and the two went into my 
hm^*- together, and I happened to be at a 
*oci*-ty meeting that night; not thinking of 
any person there, I went in, and heard Brown 
*ay he was employed by Mr. Watt, and paid 
b' Mr. Downie; I inquired no farther into 
t£e conversation, I was just out of the door. 

Did you ever hear any thing about another 
convention ? — No. 

Now recollect yourself, whether you ever 
beard of any other convention that was to 
meet? — ^I do not remember any other con- 
vcalioa that was to meet 


A. D. 1794. f60 

But of the Water of Leith Society?— Not 

Mr. Solicitor General. — Did you ever hear 
Downie say any thing of a letter he received, 
or Watt received from Perth ?— All I remcm* 
her was, Downie saying he had received a 
very spirited letter from Perth. 

You entered into no farther explanation 
about it ?— No. 

Did Downie or Watt mention any thing 
more about it.? — ^Downie read the letter that 
came from Perth. 

What was the letter about?— It was about 
Mr. Miller in Perth. 

What was it? — ^They had some meeting, 
and after the meeting he was carried before 
the magistrate and examined, whether he 
had made a practice to sell them to the 
Friends of the People ; he said he would sell 
as many as he pleased. 

Was it soon after this you heard Downie 
say he had received a very spirited letter from 
Perth P— I cannot positively say. 
. Mr. F(/!rtcAer.— You said Watt read a paper? 

Did Downie receive notice such a paper 
was to be read P — ^I got none, and never saw 
it after that night. 

Does it consbt with your knowledge any 
other members got it ? — ^I cannot say. 

You never had any conversation with Mr. 
Downie upon the subject?— Never. 

Jury, — ^You said before, you had been in- 
formed Brown and Orrock were to be em- 
ployed by Watt— what were they to do ? — 
Brown and Orrock were employed by Watt.- 

What to do?— To make some pikes and 
things of that kind. 

Mr. Anstruther, — When Watt read the 
proclamation, it was not at the same time he 
read the plan, I believe ? — No. 

Mr. Fletcher. — Who took the chief lead in 
the Committee of Ways and Means ? — As far 
as I can recollect, I never saw a man put pen 
to paper there but Mr. Watt and Mr. Stoke. 

Mr. Clerk. — Had you any conversation 
with Mr. Watt or Mr. Stoke about it after- 
wards ? — ^No. 

Did you never mention a syllable of it ?— 
No, sir. 

Mr. F/e^cAer.— Now, do you believe in your 
own mind, that Downie ever meant to carry 
into execution the project in Watt's paper ? 
— He never said a word to such a purport, as 
far as I remember. 

PrisoTirr.— [by Mr. Clerk] Whether after 
leaving the committee that night, when Watt 
read his paper to seize the Castle antl judges 
and so on, the prisoner said any thing, in 
going homewards along with Ronthrone ?— ■ 
I cannot remember as to that, but ho said 
nothing at the time it was read. 

It was after leaving the committee in ?oins; 
home with you and Bonthronr .?— 1 rimnot 
say, I cannot give an answer to it. 

Did you go home with him ^^ -I jm not 



34 GEORGE m- 

The question is> whether you went home 
■with him that night, and whul couversalion 
passed ? — I can D 01 recollect* 

Jury.— It does not appear whether Downie 
aod Vtatt employed Orrock, or Wall otdy. 

Whether Downie and Watt employed Or- 
f ock, or whether it was Walt only ?— Watt 

Lord Preside nt.-^Did you say Downie paid 
Lim ? «— It was Brown 1 heard say he was 
employed by Watt, and paid by Downie- 

That was by a resolution of the committee ? 
—By no means, it must be a fabiicatjon of 
his own, as far as I know. 

Mr. Clerk* — Did he aeem tahave a serious 
wish this plan should be put in execution ? — 
^s to his wish I can say nothing about that ; 
fts far as I could recollect, he seemed to in- 
terline some part of the paper. 

Did he ask the coromittee-s opinion upon 
k ? — No : I thought he had done, and I spoke 
those words, I oid not approve of it, and 
Bonthrunc backed me. As soon asl tliuught 
it was doue, I said I would not, by any means^ 
do any thing to disturb ihe peace, or shed the 
btood of my countrymen; and Bonthrone 
said, by no means. 

Tnis never came on again ? — No* 

It never was resumed again ? — No, 

At any lime after it was read did you un- 
derstand it an object the committee was pur- 
suing ? — No ; 1 never understood it, for Mr. 
Bonthrone opposed itnceatively, and said be 
would agree to no such uiing, 

Bajron Norton, — I thought you said that 
TOU supposed that Fairley, in what he had 
Wen doing in the west country^ had beca 
doing something relative to tliis plan? — 
1 wished to give do opinion ; if I was to 
ive an opinion, I woula look upon it in that 
ghtf but I know nothing of his reason for 
going thcre» 

Mr* Clerk. — ^T'hcn you only speak of your 
own suspicion? — I would not wisn to give my 

' .Mr, Bonthrane aworl 

Lttrd Advocate. --^WUtTC did you commonly 
reside before you were taken into cu&tody ? — 
In the new town of Edinburgh. 
' Before Whitsimtide,wherc?— In Broughton. 

Do you know of the British CooventioQ 
Win» dispersed ? — Y'es^ my lord. 

Were you a member of any society at 
BrouRhton or theNc w Town ?— At Broughton. 

Did your society send delegates to thai 
convention ? — Yes* 

After that convention was dispersed, did 
your sociciy continue to meet at all ? — I b©- 
I Iicve it dtd for some short time. 

Do you know that it did ? — Yes» my lord. 

Was there any other committee or convco- 
tioo, to wtiich your society sent delegates 
•flcr that ?— Yes, my lord. 

What was the name of ihalmeetlDKlo whlcb 
your sodcty itnl dobgilM t^tht Comoiittcc 
oJ UoiotL 


meet? — At 

7Vml of David Do^ftie 

Where did that committee 
George Koss*3. 

That is the Gazetteer-office ? — Yes. 

Do you know it to be the Gazetteer-office ? 
— It is George Ross's house ; it was said to 
be the Gazetteer-ofiice — the Gazetteer-office 
is a separate pkce from the house. 

Where is it ? — South Bridge. 

Do you know a place called Liberty Court? 
— 1 know of no such place. 

Did you ever attend any of the meetinga 
of that committee ?— Yes. 

You were a delegate from the Broughloo 
Society ? — Yes. 

Do you know David Downie^ a goldamith 
in Edinburgh ? — Y^s. 

Did you ever see that man in that commit- 
tee; see if you can find him out now?^ 
rihe witness looks at the prisoner]. Tcs, my 
lord,— he is there. 

Did you understand him to be a member 
of that coiumitLce? — I understood every per- 
son pref^ent to be a member. 

At what time did the committee meet oc- 
casionally? — I do not recollect the precise 

Were they usually meeting about the time 
you were taken into custody ? — 1 know no- 
thing of it ; I had led the meeting a moatb 
before I was taken into custody. 

Did they continue to maet when you gave 
them up ? — Yes, 

What month was it you gave them up ? — 
About tlie'niiddle of April. 

Was there any other committee you had 
occasion to know any thing about, besides 
this Committee of Union? — Yes, there was 

Tell the jury what it was?— It was styled 
the sub-couimittce. 

Of whom did that committee consist, and 
who chose it? — They were chosen by the 
Committee of Union. 

Were the members of the sub-committee 
all the members of Uie Committee of UnioD ? 

That is to say, the Sub-committee were 
chosen a prmdpal committee ? — Yes, 

Tell the name of that Sub-committee, and 
who those individuals were ? — They consisted 
of seven, my lord. 

Nante them, if you tan ? — Aitcheson, Burke, 

What was Sloke?— do you know his pro* 
fesaion, bb business?^! heard he was a slv^ 
denA*^M'£wan, Watt, Downie, and myself. 

TIkat same Downie?— Yes^ thiut same 

Where did that Sub-coounittce meet? — la 
thai same house. 

Ilad you stated nights of sieclijig at thst 
commlitec ?-'Ye8, once a week. 

Did you ever meet in Wntt*shoiiscf — ^Yes, 

Did you ever hear any oth<*r n^une eivefi 
that Sub-committeev cjicei>i "^mj? 

— I have beard of ooothc-i did 

xigt know it; I undccstood it unoci mixi wjtsu^ 

GSf] M^W Jar High Treason. 

What was that olher name yon heard of? — 
I read it in a printed paper caikd the Com- 
mit Lee of Ways and Means. 

And where did you see that pEfer that 
called it the Committee of Ways and Means? 
** If saw U in the sheriA^s office : I vf2s »howo 

Did you ever see that paper in manuscript, 
iNsfore you ^aw it there ? — Yes, I saw part of it. 
And where did you see it?— In that com* 
mittce, of which I was a member. 

The circnlar Iclter? — It is called the regu- 

Is ihat like the paper to which you are 
alluding F^Yea, begin ning Fundamental Prin- 
ciples of the Society, 

Did you ever see any other printed paper or 
manuscript? — Yes. 

Wliat paper was it? Do you rememher the 
iroporl or aubstancc or tenor of it?— I do not 
recollect the substance, but if I see it^ I know 

See if you have seen that in the Sub-com- 
loittee. Look at it?— Yes, sir. 

Is tlial the paper you saw in manuscript? — 
Y'es, part of il; it has perhaps undergone 
iome corrections since it went to the press. 
Was Downic in company when that paper 
s proiluced ? — As to that 1 am not positive 
lether he was or not. 
Did any of the members leave it before 
you left it? — Yes, three leftil before me. 
Three before you? — Yes. 
W*ho were iliey ?— Ailchesoo, Stoke, and 
Burke or Burt. 

Did the other three continue to attend ? — 

Four, my kird, as I believe I was a week 


After whom ?— Th«re were just three in it. 

Who was the man that left it immediately 

before you ? — Sloke, my lord. 

Was Iherc cvtr any money collcoted by Ihat 
society ? — Why, yes> we collected a few pence 
every evening, in order to defray the ro43m 

Was there any money collected in the so- 
detieSy and dvcn to you in that committee, 
or to any of the members of it, to your know- 
ledge ? — ^I remember once» a very few pence 
that I carried to that committee. 

From what society ? — From the Broughton 

For what purpose was it carried ? — To de- 
fray the expense in printing such papers as 

Was no other purpose held out in your so- 
cietyt for which money was collected ? — I do 
not recollect any other purpose, my t^rd, I 
remember there was an account owing to Mrs. 
Skifving, some demand she had; I suppose 
ibe wouJd get some : I do not know she jg^t 
any, but a demand was made, or proposeato 
bcjEiveo in. 

Did any body act as treasurer to the com- 
mittee ? — ^There was no treasurer chose. 

Did any body act as treasurer to that com- 
BUttec to your knowledge ?^Mr. Downie was 

D- nn. 


ordered to take up a few pence ihat was over 
the money due, and I suppose he look up 
any money that came to hand^ but was Dot 
chosen treasurer. 

Do you know any thing of collectors, or 
people of that sort ?— I was entirely^way from 
the committee before these collectors bad 
any meeting at alj. 

Did you know they were appointed .''—Yes, 
I have heard they were appointed* 
Was it in a committee ?— No. 
AVas it in your society that you heard it, or 
fromany metnberof your society ? — They were 
appointed I suppose by the societies. 

You only suppose it — do you know it?— I 
only speak from my own knowledge. 

Mr. Amiruther, — Do you speak from your 
own knowledge ?^Ycs, my lord. 

Do you know what the duty of those col- 
lectors was, or the purpose for which they 
were appointed ?^ — I Know little or nothing 
at all about the business, because I left 

Do you know a little about it; even a little 
— tell nothing but what you know?— I be- 
lieve it was to see and collect a Jittle money ; 
to send a delegate to England, upon any emer- 
gency, if I recollect welH 

A delegate to be sent to a convention, if 
any ? — Yes. 

There was no such eonvention before you 
left the committee ? — No. 

State to the jury, if you recollect, what was 
the reason of your leaving that committee ? — - 
I ^ve a statement of that the otlier day. 

Mr. Anstruthcr, — Those gentlemen did not 
hear you. 

Lord Advocate. — ^Tell ua nothing but what i» 
true. — I wish not to say any thing untrue. — I 
gave one reason for leaving it, which was my 
removing to another quarter of the town to 
teach. X gave no other reason to the com- 
mittee, though I had two other reasons, one 
of which was, that I thought 1 evidently saw 
matters coming to some very great length,- 
and that I tiiought I could not remain any] 
longer; the other reason I would not choosal 
to advance; it is a simple thing, but delicate ; J 
it is not respecting the committee^ btitthaf 
peace of my own family, my lord. i 

I do not ask you about that?— These ara^ 
aU tlie reasons I had. 

You stated you saw things were going ft 
length you did not approve, and theretorc 
you left it? — ^Tbat was one of the real rea- 

Had you any particular reason for forming^ 
that opinion ? — Yes I had. 

Be so good as to tell tlie jury what it was ? - 
—It was a paper that J heard read by one of ^ 
the Sgb-committee. 

What committee?— One of the Sub-com- 

Who were present at the meeting of tha- 
Sub-committee ivhen this paper was read ?— • 
Sloke, WaU> Downie, M*Ewan, and I. 
As far as you recollect, what was the iaoL« 



Trial of David Dotonie 


port of that paper ?— Which of those persons 
i«ad that paper ? — Watt 
At far as you recollect, what was the un- 

f)rt and substance of that paper?— My lord, 
can say very little about the substance; it 
raised such a panic in me, I could not sit to 
hear it ; I can say veir little about it. 

But you must say that little, and you must 
say it to the jury. 

Mr. AnstnUher, — ^You have sud you recol- 
lect little of that paper, it put you into such 
an alarm,^now tell the gentlemen what that 
was ?— 'It seemed to me, the little I did hear 
of it, it seemed to have a kind of hostile ap- 
pearance that alarmed me. 

Can you recollect what word was in it that 
had an hostile appearance P — It mentioned, as 
a supposilion, if a number of men could be 
collected together for certain purposes. 

What were the purposes ?-— If I mistake 
not, it was to alarm the soldiery in the Cas- 
tle ; that was one thine that struck me in it. 

How were they to alarm them ? — I do not 
positively recollect, my lord. 

What do you recollect ?— That is part of 
what I recollect. 

What more do you recollect ; give us the 
other part of what you recollect ? — I think it 
was to seize the guard-house. 

What were they to do when they alarmed 
the soldiery in the Castle ?— I do not remem- 
ber as to that: I think the excise-office. — 
What was said in the paper about the excise* 
office ? — I do not rememoer a word that was 
said about the excise-office, but only to seize 
it and the bank. 

To seize any thing else ?— I recollect no- 
thing farther. 

Do you recollect that any body was to be 
seized? — Not one. 

Were any one person or persons to be 
seized ? do you recollect nothing about the 
magistrates of Edinburgh being mentioned ? 
— I do not. I do not recollect one name being 

Were any magistrates mentioned of Edin- 
burgh?— I do noC recollect. 

Lord Fretidtnt, — Was any thing said about 
taking possession of the Castle, or seizing the 
Castle, or any thing of that kind ? — If I mis- 
take not, that was the intention of the sol- 
diery being brouglitdown from the Castle, but 
I eannot he positive whether that was really 
mentioned or not 
You were alarmed ?— Yes, my lord. 

The plan alarmed you?— Yes, those things 
that I have mentioned. 

Wliat did Arthur M^Ewan say after the 

Elan was read ?— If I recollect well, he said 
e would by no means go on with any thing of 
such a nature. 

What did you say? — I answered, no, by no 
means ; if I recollect well, tliose were the 
words I used. 

The thing which Arthur M'Ewan said he 
would not go into, was the Hune thing to 
which you said, no^ no ?— Ye* - *^* no meansi 
if I well recollect. 

Did any body else say any thing about that ? 
— ^I do not remember a word iarther spoke 
about it. 

Do you mean to say, no more was said 
about it ? — ^No more was said about it 

What became of it after that? — ItwasifS:''- 
mediately placed in a press, in one comer of 
the room. 

Who were they that were to be collected to 
do this?— As to that, there was no person 
named, nor place from whence they were to 

Who did you understand were to be the 
people to execute this? — I was naturallv led to 
suppose, my lord, it was meant to be done by 
the Friends of the People. 

Jury. — ^Where was this meeting held, when 
this paper was read?— It was at Mr. Watt's 
own house. 

Was this upon a committee night ? — ^No, my 

What night was it then ?— If I mistake not, 
it was a Thursday evening. 

For what purpose did the committee meet 
that night? — For the purpose of writing a letter, 
if I recollect right. 

Now whom was that letter to be written 
to ?— I think it was to Mr. Hardy in London. 
What was the letter about? — I have en« 
tirely forgot; it was an answer to a letter 
they had received, but I never had it in my 

Was it about a Convention ? — I never had 
the letter in my hand. 

Was it a prmtcd letter, or a written letter ? 
— I think it was a printed letter. 

Is that like it ? Did you hear it read. — Yes. 
[The Circular Letter, signed T. Hardy, shown 
the witness.] 
Is that like it ?— I think so. 
Mr. Amtruiher — ^This is a letter upon which 
the committee met ; it was a special purpose, 
you said before? — ^Yes. 

What other conversation was there at that 
meeting ? — If I recollect well, there was no 
other business for them that evening. 

But there was some conversation ? — As to 
conversation I remember none, my lord. 

Was there, or not, conversation about arm- 
ing ? — Not a syllable, as far as I recollect 

Was there any conversation about an inva- 
sion ? — I remember not a sentence but what I 
have told, that passed that evening nor no other 
personal conversation. 

Do you recollect whether that answer was 
or not agreeing to tliat letter ? — I do not recol- 

You wrote an answer.^ — An answer was wrote 
that evening. 

Wlio was to carry that letter to Hardy ? — ^Was 
it to ^0 by post? — ^No, my lord, it was to go by 

It could not go to the ship without some- 
body carrying it— it could not find its way to 
the ship ? — I do not know who carried it. 

In the committee, was there any partiodar 
person pitched upon to take it to the ship?— 
There was a person pitched upon to lake it 

73] for High Treason. 

Wbo was it ?— Mr.Stoke. 
What was it in answer to ?— It was, I recol- 
lect weUy an answer ' to that letter you have 
shown me. 

Where did you go afler you hadlefl the com- 
mittee ?— We went up the town a little, and 
taok some small refreshment, as Stoke was 
a2K>ut to leave the place in a day or two. 

Who went up the town ?— All the members 
that were present. 

Where aid you go to? — I take it, it was a 
public bouse ; I never was there before, nor 

What part of the town was it ?— It was up 
above the prison here. 

Do you know Forster's Wynd, or Liberton's 
Wynd ? — It was the wynd above the gaoL 

Did you ever hear of a woman called Mrs. 
Mason? — ^Yes. 
Was it there ?--Ye8. 
Did you ever go there again ? — ^Yes. 
Had you any conversation about this paper 
with Mr. Watt ?— Not a syUable. 

You bad do conversation about it going up 
thestreet?— No. 

Had you no conversation with Mrs. Mason 
iboutit? — No, there seemed to be a stranger 
there ; there was a stranger that just came into 
our company, a little after we were met; at 
least he was so to me. 

I think jTOu said you were very much alam>- 
ed by hearing this plan read, Mr. Bonthrone? 

And you gave as a reason, because you 
duMght It an hostile paper?— Yes, it had the 
appearance of it. 

Dki you determine to continue in the society 
tfler t^t, or did you determine to leave it after 
that? — I determined to leave the society after 
that ; in a day or two after I came to a full re- 

Did you take any stepa^for announcing that 
ftsolutioD to the public ? — Yes, my lord, but I 
did not put it in execution. 

Now what did you do ?— I intended to adver- 
tise, but there was a circumstance in my own 
conduct that prevented roe. 

What did you mean to advertise ?— That I 
wished to drop all connexion with it. 
Did you write a few lines ?— Yes. 
When did you write it ?~That same week 
tint I left the committee, towards the end 

This was a Thursday ni^ht this meeting was ? 
—Yes, my lord, but notwithstanding that I re- 

Mr. Anstnttker. — ^The meeting was on a 
Thursday night, and you wrote your adver- 
tisement sometime in the course of the week? — 
I think it was. 

You are sure you wrote the advertisement 
whhiD a few days after the meeting you have 
been talking of ?— I believe, my lord, it might 
be the following week. 
Was it within a few days ? — It was. 
Waa what passed at that meeting your rea- 
mifer writing that advertisement? — Yes, 
that together with other circiuistances. 

A. D. 1794. 


Read this, and tell me whether that is the 
advertisement you wrote ? — ^Yes, my lord, it 
was wrote on the Monday evening ; and I 
thought I might as well go back on the Tues- 
day, and take my leave of them, which I did. 

Was this written the day it was dated ? — ^Yes 
or I have mistaken the date. 

[Papcrread.] '' Mr. Bonthrone to the pub- 

" Brougkton, April 31. I William Bon- 
throne, teacher in Broughton, a new chosen 
member of the Committee of Union, in March 
last, and sub- committee ; but, for reasons of 
weight with roe, declare, tliati have dropt adl 
connexions or communications with said 
committees. Wm. Bonthbone." 

What did you do with that? — I just laid it 
by, as there was a circumstance^ — 

I am asking you about that paper ; you 
laid it by; did you keep it yourself ?^- Yes. 

Did you keep it till you were taken up ? — 
I suppose I was perhaps 6 or 7 weeks Uken 
up before it was sent for by one of the officers ; 
they went to my house ; they got my key ; 
the sheriff ordered me to give my kev. 

Was it in your house tmtt it was found? — 

Did the sherifiPs ofiUcer bring that paper ?— 

Now, you say that paper was written on a 
Monday, and you went back on the Tuesday 
to the committee ? — ^Yes. 

You went back to another meeting of the 
Committee ? — Yes. 

What did you do there ?— I do not remem- 
ber any business that evening. 

Did you take leave of them? — Yes, my 
lord, I took leave of them, and took leave of 
the society of which I was a member. 

Did you take leave of the committee and 
the society? — ^Yes, both in one week. 

Was it the same reason that made you leave 
the committee as made you leave the society? 
— I gave Uie same reasons. 

Had you the same reasons in your own 
mind? — Yes. 

Do you know a lad of the name of Fairley ? 
He is a friend of your's ? — Yes. 
He lives at Broughton? — Yes. 
An intimate acquaintance of your's ? — Yes. 
Mr. Anstruther. Tell me your reason why 
you did not publish that advertisement? — 
The reason was, because I met with the lad 
Fairley, and wrote two or three lines to him ; 
and after he went away, he found fault with 
ray conduct, because I had left all the com- 

What were the two or three lines about?— 
It was to Mr. Watt; I directed him to ad- 
vance a few shillings to him, as he was going 
to Falkirk to i»ee a sister ; he told me he had 
some commission to take. 

From whom '—He did not mention the 

Who was the commission from?— Mr. 
I Watt. 
I Who else .'—No other peisoiu 


What money was he lo get ?*— Purely out 

t>f friend si iip. 

What money was h be was to advance 
him? — I do not recollect, it was a few shil- 
lings; which he was to account for on his 

Whose money was it? — I suppose if there 
was a few shillings in Mr. Downie's hands, 
Mr. Walt could give il him. 

How wa^ money to come into Downie's 

hands?— If there was a few shillings over. 

Over what? — Over what we collected for 

defraying other charges. 

Then It was the committee's money he was 

gel? — I sup pose 1 1 so ; I did not understand 

lie was to give it out of his own pocket. 

Had Downie the keeping of the coromit- 
itee*9 money ?— For any thing I know. 

Do ntil you know he had it ? — Yes, my lord, 
lie had it formerly. 

While you continued a member of the 
immittee, Mr. Downie had the money? — 
iYeSj my lord» 

Why was the committee money to be ad- 
iced lo the lad Fairley ? I suppose you did 
not advance the committee's money to any 
unless tlicy were upon your business, — why 
was it to be advanced to Fairley ? — It occurred 
to me, if Fairley was going to take a commis- 
aion from Watt^ he would a^k for a few 
I shillings* 

^^ Was Fairley going upon the corarailtee'a 
^Bftusincss, or Watt's private business ?— I never 
^Hlekcd him ; he never told me* 
^H How came you to desire the committee's 
^^^money to be advanced for private business of 
^^BWatt's? — I only desired, as he was sending a 
^^^Veomrnission with him, that he would advance 
^' a few shillings, to assist him upon his journey, 
for which he would account with him. 

Why was he to account with Watt, he 
ihould have accounted with Downie, — what 
money was it you meant he should advance 
to Fairley, was it his own money or the com- 
mittee's money?— My idea was, it was the 
committee's money, iHt was the committee's 
business, but that I did not know, he did not 
say it was the committee's money. 

Do you know if the money was paid to 
Fairley ?— I do not know tliat Fairley got a 
shilling of it. — 

Did Fairley ask you to write again lo Watt 
or Downie tor money ? — No. 

You never went back to the committees ? — 
No, nor no society ; there may be an tneon- 
aistency of taking leave of tiiat society and 
committee, and writing that line. 

Then there would have been no incon- 
sistency, if tiiat hne had been about your own 
private busmeas ?*-No. 

Look at that, tell me if you know any thing 
about tliat ?— [showing a paper],— Yes, my 

Vrwi tt-i-^fiWfci tlia» '— YeS. 

N tliat from ?— I took it 
<r ,, drawn by Uie committee 

of liiiioDi ftt ieast a copy that wis diAwn in 

Trial qf David Datimie 

til at committee was given to mc, and I drew 
that from it. 

What did you do with that copy ?— If I mis- 
take not, it was read in the Brougnton society, 
and went from that to another society. 

Did you do any thing in the Broughton 
society in consequence of this.^ — Yes, tny 
lord, there were 2 or 3 delegates chosen, tu 
attend the Committee of Union. 

Which was the Committee of Ways and 
Means ? — ^The Sub-committee* 

Whom were they chosen from ? — They were 
chosen from the Committee of Union. 

How often were they changed ? — The Sub- 

Yes. — ^l*here was no change during my stay. 

Was it an open or a secret committee ? — 
There was none of them, committees or sub- 
committees, open to any one that appeared, 
unless they were members. 

Was the Sub- commit tee a secret commit- 
tee ?— I know oothmg about the name secret 

Was it so in fact, did you let any body in 
but yourselves ? — We never all met but one 
evenm^, except the first* 

I ask whetner you ever let any body into 
that committee ?— Any persons that had any 

What sort of business ?^Such as a letter to 
give. Any body that had business with the 
committee came in* 

You know what a secret committee means, 
do you ? — I do not know what you mean* 

But you know what the wortls mean f — Just 
such a committee that wishes lo have their 
business in secret or private. I mean we had 
always our door shut, and no perhons came in 
except they had business. 

And the Committee of Union was the 
same ?— No persons attend, as far as I know 
of it, but merabers. 

Did you ever hear of such a thing as col- 
lector ? — Yes. 

Were Uiey for dislricts, or divisions of the 
country? — I suppose it would rather be io 

By saying you suppose, do you mean that 
you understood it was to be in numbers ? — Ye^ 
£ suppose so. 

You may as well drop the word suppose ? 
— I use the word suppose, because I am not 
altogether certain. 

Look at that naper, did you ever see a 
paper of that size? — 1 have seen that in ma- 

Where did you see it ?— I think il was in 
the cnmmitlee, when it was wrote* 

What committee?— The Sub- committee. 

You said, you never all met but once ? — Ye^ 
my lord^ viz*! he first evening. 

Was It on the &ra cveniiig when yo*J saw 
that paper ?->That was neither the brst Dor 

When was it?— >I do not fecollect the 

About wliat time was ilf-^l suppose it 


Jot High Tftasonl 

A, D. 17W. 



would be abcHjt the fint of Marth^ or there- 
•bon^, or April, I thiuk. 

Now, in who^ liaiid^ did you see that ma- 
nuscript P—Mr, Stoke' s hand. 

Wad k written in that committee ? — Yes^ 
mv lord. 

XVho was there when it was written ? — I do 
Dot recollect the members ttiat were preisent ; 
I outnot recollect^ some oft he members might 
V« ;ib^ent. 

Which might be absent P^I do not know 
who were abseot. 
Wt5 it a full meeting, or small meeting? — 
' ' fotir ; there were three gone. 

ey could not he gone before you saw 
ke write that paper ? — I suppose three were 
IBDe — two gone, I mean. 

00 T04I remember whether the other five 
wffc there that night ?— I am not positive. 
Was Arthur M*Ewan there ?— He was ab- 
n: two utghta. 
LHow many times were you at the Sub- com- 

I t^i cannot answer to that, 
[Wcte you there 10 times? — Perhaps I was 
» the half of it. 
_THten you were there 4 or 5 times \ — Pos- 
wititf I waii. 

By po^ibly, you think you were ?— I am 
0^ ^* to the number. 

be one more or less ? — Yes. 

\ou arc sure it mi^ht not be 10 limes ? — It 

h uu|)0^ible it could be that, owing to the 

ttlBe of my leaving ir. 

Till me whether Mr Watt read it?— I do 

til,— if I recollect well, there w&s no 

thai night, except the answer to 

Was this paper read in the committee ?— 

WbH l»a» said about it ?— I know nothing 
aaj farther than it was wrote, and 
|wa* to take the management of it. 
[ Wild was to take the management about 
I-- About what? 
_^Thr Irttrr ^ hich was to go to Han3y, the 
fifcraUo^it the Fencibles? — I know no more 
than I saw it when it was wrote. 

DmI ntibodjf say any thing about it in the 
ONBifiitlee } — t do not remember a word, 
► Wa» rt a public paper of the committee, or 
IprtTate tiling of Mr Stoke's own? — Mr. 
* ! Woujght It into the committee. 

i ptopik do tiny thing in the committee, 
t Hi* 04mimittcc's business?— No. 

when Mr, 8toke was writing that 

r, ami wtun li*» ri^ad it, It was about the 

= ?— I have told every 



«lMih« I 
'Ewan wa^ a I' 
U>c con ! 

to be writing that 
'9 business ?--Cer- 
• f imagined it was pri- 
** in the committee ? 

^ ni|E;ht ? — I cannot 
s noi, but I think 

need, if Burke 

ftvmy^ and Vv atwn away and MEwan 


not there, then the committee only consi&„ 
of Walt, Downie, Sluke, and yourself ?— -Ye 

Now Stoke was there ? — Yes. 

Was any body there besides you and Stokel 
— ^Yes. 

Were you and Stoke alone ? — ^No, my 
I do not think that. 

Was anybody there besides Stoke?— The:, 
were only two remaining. I am not positive' 

What do you think about it ? — I think " 
were present, I cannot say for certam. 

[The paper read.] This paper is dated, Etli 
burgh, 5th of March, 1704. 

**The general committee having met, C. 
Stoke appointed preses, and citizen Uoberti,, 
secretary ; the business commenced, by form 
ing a plan of organization for the Friends of 
the People in Edinburgh ; citizen Walt pro- 
posed to recommend to the diU'erent societies 
to choose a permanent committee to sit onc«i 
a week; and that they should be a committee' 
of 7 to l>e empowered to transact the hu 
ness of the Friends of the People; the coi.. 
mittee to report to the dift'creut societies ; anu 
that tliis commiUec recommend to their dift 
fcrent societies to choose two or three me 
bers for the committee to meet onTuesi. 
next, at 7 o'clock, and that they choo&e tSa^ 
Sub-committee to sit the same evening, and 
report to the General Committee." 

BJr. Clerk. — You spoke about a paper that 
alarmed you much; did you hear such a 
paper was to be read, before you went to the 
committee that night? — No> I never heard a 
ward about it ; the pajjer was just laid by, and 
not a word said about it. 

it was taken up by Watt, and read ?— YesL^pJ 
and then laid up by Watt. jIH 

Did you conceive it a proposal made by^" 

Watt, for the adoption of the committee? 

No, my lord, 1 never viewed it in that 

Inwhathghl did you view it? Was it a 
scheme to be put in execution by the com- 
mittee? — I dare say, that committee never 
would have adopted such a scheme. 

I think you said M^Ewan expressed his ab- 
horrence at tlie scheme, and you expressed 
yourself much to the same purpose ?^I said, 
no, DO. 

Did you understand these expressions, as 
consistent with the opinion of the rest of the 
committee ? — As to tne expression, the rest of 
the committee did not express approbation or 

Was it a scheme proposed by llie com- 
mittee ?— I never looked upon it in ihatligh' 
or that it was read with that view ; I kne 
nothing of whether Mr. Watt wrote t1 

Did you conceive it merelv as matter of 
curiosity ?--I rather considered it as a kind of 
phrenzy, my lord. 

Did any of the members of the eoromtttee 
express any approbation of ihe scheme?--^ 
None that 1 tecollccl. i 

Had yoa any ccnver^fttioQ with Dowtu« 

►n or 



34 GEORGE m. 

Trial qfDaxM Dtmiie 


about it ftf\erwanls?^Never ft syllable, as far 
I recollect. 

Can you affix any reason for that ; for not 
conversing with the committee about this 
strange paper? — I never was in the committee 
but one time aAer ; I never saw Mr. Downie 
after, but one day I passed him going to 
chuich. I never saw Mr. Downie after that 

Who took the chief lead and direction of 
the business of this Sub-committee? — Mr. 
Stoke and Mr. Downie wrote any thing they 
had occasion to write. 

Mr. Afutruther.-^MT. Stoke and Mr. Dow- 
nie wrote any thing they had occasion to 
write? — ^No, not Mr. Downie. 

Mr. Stoke and Mr. Downie you said. — It 
was a mistake. 

Who was employed by the committee ? — I 
do not understand you. 

Was Downie an active member of the com- 
mittee ? — He was a member. 

Did he interfere much in the management 
of the business? — No, not anv further than 
taking[ a few pence that was brought to the 
committee, but never kept any book as I 
know of. 

Was there much money collected ?— No, 
my lord, while I remained there was not. 

Could you give a name to it ?^I could not. 

Was there 30«. SOf. or 40s.— I could not 
give it a name, my lord, on no account. 

Was there 100/. collected ?— There might 
not be 100/. for me. 

Mr. Downie took the whole that was col- 
lected?— Yes. 

And paid for the room? — Yes, I under- 
stood so. 

Had you any book ?— No, no book. 

No minutes ? — ^No minutes, my lord ; there 
was no preses chosen, nor no minutes. 

Do you know, from your own personal 
knowledge, that Mr. Downie received any 
monev at aU?«I know of my own personal 
knowledge, that I have seen Mr. Downie take 
up a few pence, and jot it down to pay for the 

Have you seen any money paid by him ?— 
Yes, a few shillings. 

Can you tell what was paid to him ? — It 
was impossible forme to tell. 

I ask you what you know from your own 
knowledge ? — I have said I have seen a few 
shillings paid in at the time. 

And that is all?— Yes. 

Mr. AfutnUker, — Were you present at the 
Sub-committee on the first of April, do you 
remember ?— My lord, I cannot recollect as 
to the day, it is impossible. 

Do you know Mr. Downie's hand- writing? 
— I do not recoUect his hand-writing ; except 
in the shcrifPs office, I never saw him write 
down what he had, he jot that down for a 

Mr; CUrk^^You, say the cause of your 
alarm was, they were to cany Ihinss to an 
extraordiDaiy length; do you think Uiat Mr. 

Downie was one of those who meant to do 
so ? — I never understood the measures in that 
paper were to be carried to any length at all, 
out that paper was just to be thrown by and 
destroyed; I never understood that was ever 
to appear in that committee again. 

I thought you mentioned your reason for 
leaving that Sub-committee was, you were 
afraid they were going to push measures to 
an extraordinary lengtn, diet not you say so ? 
— I said it went extraordinary lengths, but I 
did not think it was to be carried into exe- 

Was Downie one of the people by whom 
you were afraid it would be carried to extraor- 
dinary lengths ?— No, sir, I never saw any 
thing in Mr. Downie, that gave me the least 
occasion for any alarm. 

Have you seen Mr. Downie ?— Yes, I have 
seen him in different committees and places. 

What is your opinion of his disposition ? — 
I do not know whether it is a fair question, 
my opinion about any body's disposition ; I 
do not think it a fair question. 

Do you conceive Downie to be a man of a 
peaceable, quiet disposition? — I never saw 
any thing to the contrary. 

Mr. CuUen. — Vou haa no acquaintance but 
in the committee? — None. 

Were you acquainted with him before you 
came into the committee ? — No, I once occa- 
sionally was with him, I had no acquaintance 
with him. 

Mr. Baron Norton, — ^Will you tell us as to 
that ^pcr that ^ve you so much alarm, that 
you did not thmk was fit to be carried into 
execution, can you tell what way it was intro- 
duced in the committee ?— To the best of my 
recollection, our meeting that evening was to 
answer a letter that came from London ; I 
know of no other business ; it was to be be- 
fore the committee that evening; and Mr. 
Watt just took this paper from liis pocket, 
or from the press, ana read it, and put it 

And did not say a word about it ? — No. 

Nor why he read it ? — No. 

Nor about what he was going to read ?— 
He said he was going to read a paper. 

Did he say he nad ever shown it to any per- 
son before ? — No, my lord, he did not. 

Mr. Gardner sworn. 

Mr. Anstruther. — Do you know Mr. Dow- 
nie*8 hand- writing ? — ^Yes, and I have a letter 
in my pocket, which I received from him 
when he was in gaol. 

Will you look at that, and tell me whether 
it is his hand-writing? — I am certain David 
Downie is his hand- writing. 

Is the postscript?- -I think the postscript 
is, but cannot be sure of it 

Look at that ?— It ceruinly is ; I have had 
so many ^ears an opportunity of knowing his 

You are sure that is his hand-writing ?— 

fm" High Tnason. 

! riffular letter for 
J ask Mf* G;irclner, 


uu aluut U. 


fr, Cn/f^ii.-^Bc so gocKl tu to look lit the 
* letter, and see if the interlining: is 
^ 1 hand? — U IS hetler wrulf tliaii he 
Fte grwerai : it i% not like the subscrip- 
liMH 1 bsvr h.'td from him, I cannot say 
whctb**f '■ "- '^' ^'^* K», MPs* ii !^ better wrote 
tilftnttTi I by hnn. 

tl iivvii as oue of 

1 i ks t — V es, 
r> cu long a member of 

itesocictvf — He imi» been Si or V3 years» 
lai hu ietn doing business for me j»ince 

Wlist Is yo^tr \f\en of his rhsnicter, as a 
nn of fcoc^^^ ' ' I iieni? — 

0unikeAll 1^ ^ ^o, I 

*' ' 111 in inv u\\n trade, 

[J temper and benevo* 

ever nad tiny opportu- 
rirf ill. It was always iu 

i> ^. .-.,„„ f4 business, 

attmd honest f — Yes. 
i heax A ^uod chiiracter tn the corpo- 
>? — V««, 1 al ' (I upon him very 

btive ia nao:!^ ^ wa uBairs^ as fnr 

il can tee. 

PU jpoo t^cr know any thin^ to the con- 
Bf^, ftity thmg ag&iinst his character? — I 
Ipcr hik ciiuse to say he did any thing 
J to mc ; Its to hib private character in 
potiicr dealing with the world I could ^ay 
* fofit 

reUr Mai hit f (jeweller) sworn. 

Ur. AMMiruiher.—Do you know Mr, Dow- 
mi* bttad writk^j; ?^I do. 
Toll f»e If that i% it ? This is Mr. Downie*s 

T«il wnt if Ibe postscript is (as hand- wti ting 

lksllall»«ft t' iuri;?— 'Yes, lUiinkitis. 

To« thlnic c^, } tiiink it is ; 1 am 

«fliHl lll# * "^ and tl\ft other i^ 

^y J (The prisoner 

m ^^ ;..- ,^i;<.; and tl>e printed 

»-— Mt. DiAvnie was asking mc if I 
i IS his hand-wriling, 

: Iht ^ ' Iter) I said it was not, 

r^lj9 ^ou lliiak it id?^No, 1 do 

Mr. Jame$ Umnter sworn. 

lir. AnMiruiker, — You ore a clerk of the 
ioik?'— Yes. iir lAXlt, 

00 you fi bill for 15/. 


Wiit Vmnk Hi. iiuutcr/— The Bank of 



ptcd by Mr. 

Is that the receipt of the person that j 
the money ? — Yes, it is. 

Is it the practice to put if tn that manner 
when he r©ceivt?s it?*-To put received above 
his name, 

You paid that moncv ?— It appears in my 
book to have beui paid the ICth of ApriJ. 

Does it sippear jt was paid thed^iy it ;»houI^ 
be?— II does fjol appear. 

Out paid 10 Miller 16/.?— Paid 7lh 

Number 11. 15/. 7lh of April, 

Six days alter date, pay Waller Millar 
advised by Wm, M. 

To the Treamter ojtht Bank of Scotland. 
Indur^d — Pay the witbin to I he urder o! 
David Downie, 

Clerk of Arrawns, — This letter is dircctc 
to Mr. Walter Miller, rare of Mr, Peter Crai^ 
jkt Mr. Itobert Wbyie% merchant* Ur|[;l| 
Street, Perth. Tliis letter is dated, " Edii^l 
burgh, 9tlj April, 17Q4, 

** Sir, — I would have wrote you yesterdjj 
on receipt of yours, containing the bill of 15* 
sterling on the Bank of ScoUaJtd; but hj 
your omitting to send me your address, waf J 
prevented; and finding nobody here wh<|l 
could inform me, r^ there are so many of | 
your name at Perth, I direct lhi> letter to'thq 
care of a person who, 1 was informed, would 
not neglect the first opportunity of transmit* 
ting it to you, t 

'* The committee, to whom I showed your'$ 
and its contents last night at their meeting, 
empowers me to transmit to you, and nil their 
friends, their hearty thanks for so liberal a. \ 
remiltanee, and to assure you, it will be ap- 
plied to the most proper ends in view, 

** There are no tetters from L. as yet, biif \ 
you will see in the l^ndon papers mention 
made of holding the Convention. 

" Wc have had here an aflfray of a very sc- 
riotis nature at the Theatre, on Monday last, 
the occasion of which was this : 

**■ There was a trago«ly lo be performed of | 
the name of Charles the first. The plriy be-* 
gan, and was going on witli the rrreaiest l»ar- 
mony and dec*orum, when some furious .Aris- 
totrats, wanting, no doubts to trj' the di sposi^ 
lion of the people, called out for lh»» tune of 
Got! save the king. The tunc was ju^t be* 

f tinning, when iin universal hiss, mixed with 
amcnlable murmurs, pcrv;ubjd all over the 
house; and ttie soii!iof the ftdille were obliged 
lo desist, and they played l!>c tune of .Mag'jjy* 
Lauder, whirb met with mn versa! ap[>Iause. 
The discomfited Aristocrat?*, not knowing 
what to do, m order to efiect tlieir ptirposfr, 
called in the Fenciblcs in the Cnsile, with 
their olhcers, and then desired the royal song- 
to be again attempted, when, meeting with 
the same treatment as befort, the officers 
drew their swords, and the soldiers their in- 
struments of dealli, to deter the unarmed 
multitude from opposing the aofigof thcit 



Trial of David Dtywnie 


llOYal master ; and these heroes wcnl to such 
in length, as to cut and maim several people In 
I4hc fit, ^'ho refused to take otV Iheir hats as 
*the tune was going ou, I am sorry to say 
Itliat some of our "best friends have been 
[t>ruis€d very severely After the tune was 
f over, the play went on as if iiolhmg had hap- 
ffcncd ;— none of the newspapers here take 
fmny notice of this. We have also a report 
; the Fencihles just now in the Frith have 
been very tuibulent, and that an armed boat 
ivas sent to overawe them, and to reduce 
l-thcm to subjection ; and that the Sans Cu- 
I iultes liired some balls into the boat, when it 
Iftlk ought proper to sheer off- We have re- 
l ceived news this day of orders being given to 
^ttop the recruiting, and we have some reason 
ifo believe it, its it cttnie from one of our 

" We propose to send you a parcel by the 
^ carrier. Will you be pleased to 5end us your 
address as this comrs to hand. I am, your 
very humble servant^ Davio Downie, 

" Edinburgh, 9th April, 17D4. 

«* P* S. We are happy to have it in our 
Lnower to assure you from onr information 
Ftrom England, and different parts of Scotland, \ 
I that the Tate proseculionj*, insieud of retarding 
'have atccliTaled the great cause of freedom. 

** They have in aifranks created the desire 
i of knowledge, of course increased the number 
offriends* If we can» iherctore, judge from 
.our a&surances, the day is not far distant, 
^nvhen the people shall, as the^' should, be Iri- 
[ vmpbant over the enemies of our country/' 

Mr. AnUruthcr, The gentlemen of the 

I jury will understand the body of the letter is 

f "V-Titlen by a clerk, or somebody or other, and 

signed by David Downie. The postscript is 

' writlen by Downie himself. 

[Another paper read]* 

This begins, " — Sir, Last night at a meet- 
ing of the F of the P in Edin- 
burghf a motion was presented by citizen 

' \\ ihiam Robertson, in consequence of a re- 
l^re^entation from ciliy^n David Hunter, tlat 
you wished to be informed of the state of the 
public spirit in the city, and that you likewise 
llcstred to have some Hibscriplion papers for- 
tvarded to you j whereupon it was resolved, 
that the sub-committee should be authorized 
to VT *^ and while they transmit you 

the u papers^ rwjuesied to inform 

you u; ;,.x ^jnc time, that tne ^ipir^' * *'^' t- 
uom, notwilhstundmg all the unc(>i ^ 

mensures latel> adujited, IS hy no i. i- 

prcshed, but» like a lire attempted to be ^mo- 
thcred, m(n'af«;>» tcnlald, and will ere long 
cotifiume nil lliosc who attempt to extin- 
guish it, 

** There are msn which we may 

wjjili to write, wlr.. , , in the present 

criBia^ It would bu a:ij)Uidt:nt to com mil U) 

• ^jier. Wc ihdil therefore conclude with 
wi^kmg tn iucrcsae to the number of tim 

real friends of freedom all over the glohe^ auti 
of the friends of constitutional reform in tliis 
island in particular. 

" When you, or any of the worthy mem- 
bers of your association, have business thia 
way^ we shall be happy to see you. Societies 
of the F. of the P. meet every night, except 
Saturday and Sunday, either at C. Robertson's 
school, Symon's square,— Philips' bchool^Cal- 
ton, or C. George koss*s, Liberty-court, South 

*' In the name of the Edinburgh Commit- 
lee of the Society of the F. of the P. 1 am/' 

Clerk ^'Arraigns, — There is no subscrip- 

*' P, S, Either on Saturday, or at farthest 
on Tuesday next, you may expect the fir&t 
number of the new Gazetteer, which will then 
begin to be published in the spirit of the old. 
Lest tJie proprietors should fall short of funds 
to pay the stamp duties, it is proposed that 
every subscriber should pay per advance, — 
Subscriptions by C George Hos5, Garettcer- 
ofljce, South Bridge, who will grant receipts 
for the money, 

" Sub-Committee, April 1st* 
" Resolved, thatlVIr Reid the former trea- 
surer be rcf^uestcd to continue in his office, 
subject to the restrictions to be hereafter laid 

" Resolved, that till his determination be 
known, C D, be requested to lake charge of 
the monies whiich may be received by the 
cotiunittee this evening* 

'* Minutes. 

" Report of the Committee of Correspon- 
dence given in* 

" From the Canongate Society, No. 3, re- 
ceived the sum of one pound ten shillings and 
tliree pence halfpenny, which is hereby placed 
to their credit. David Dcwwie, 

*' Regulations of the sub-committee with 
respect to the treasurer. Aoril 1st, 1794. 

** All monies tliat shall oe paid into the 
trcifcsurer's Viands, from this day, shall be ap- 
phed to *uch purposes only as the Committee 
of Ways and Means for the time being sh all 

" The treasurer shall give a receipt to th« 
^aid committee, for what monies he Koay have 
received from them. 

'* The treasurer shall not give up any part 
of the ha id monies, on any pretext, except 
on a requisition sijzntd by tour members of 
Uie sub comniitlce, and specifying the sum 

Priiontr, — ^Gentleroen of the uirv : — Vcm 
will observe th<it is not my f ng, 

except the rcrript for the moi- vA 

tcj show it. 1 lie receipt for nioncy is tny 
hand-writ itif^. ! nr knowledge to have re* 
ceived' ^my hjUid*wriUiig 

only; loy hand but ' 

receipt Iq* Uic money. 


JhfT High Treasoi 
Willi&m hockhart swom. 

Lard AdvocAte. — Do you koow a man of 
tbe BUBe of Uobrrt Watt ?--Y€9. 
Where diJ he reside ? — Norlh-Bridgc-Closc. 
Yo« Are shcrifTs clerk ? — Yc5. 
Vott hiul a warranl from the shcriif to 
March WaU*s house ? — Yes, to scarcy» for 
tome epodd sUegcd to be secreted there* 
DidVoiSSO^— Yes. 

Who wma there?— There was Mr, Miller. 
Bcmember what time of the day it was ? — 
WhaH time of day ? — Id Uic aflemooo. 
nil! % i>u (iad the goods i — Yes. 
house ?^ — Yes. 
jury what you found, and what 
jwi dial Uicfe } — ^1 found some pikes there. 

IM us »ee ihero ?— [Producing; the pikesT. 
Tbmm twelve I found in a locked up press, in 
ti» eoortc of roy search : I tuuk one up to 
Ihr Shfffflff Cictk's office^ and informed Irim of 
iltiad be ^tve me a warrant ; I carried it to 
Watt*iy ihq Watt was conic into the house, 
aai be vas taken up to the shcriiTs office. 

Did you jgo back that evening .1 second 
liar, or third time? — Yes, I did; I went 
ledt belw*f«o twelve and one tliat night, to 
lecnn: the wiodows of the house, 
^l>jil ypu make anv farther search ?— Yes, I 
m elosct that I had not been in, in 
BT senrcb, and we searched the cio&et, 
I there I Ibuod some more. 

did you find ?— I found other two of 
\ kiod, end thoN? two, and this pole. 
_fDid you try whether they fitted with that 
filtl-^ fried than before they came out of 

Tiy teoi a^aie, and see if they fit?— 

[Thei be screwed on the halbert head]. 

Did you try the other f— Yes. 

(Ihc« be tries on tlic large one, which fitted 
is iIm MmeKrow, and on tbe same pole]. 

Cmri, — What i«j the use of that thing you 
I m your hand n<iiv n^>bin il ? — A smiilt 
hendle it 1 into, to go upon a 

^ck or , or to go over the 

iBf of the ftatT wit^i the screw, without 
imewtBEOCi ; it slip-^ on th:it p:<rt, :\u^\ comes 
dy lowr J of the 

dbchai)- L fued. 

Adtveuit\ " \\ iivii wifci* tluue with 
I ? — Tbcy were carritd to Sheriff Clerk's 

Dki aoy tluog elic ippeei proper to be car- 
!^ ' "' rtf Cierk's office, that ^^y or the 
c wea a fount of types found the | 


Ifr. Ckwhf^?imj were you wni to searth 
«. fhfmwktf^ th** nriiont r*-. Iiou^e ?— Ycfi, 

Did you fi -No, sir. 

Z^rrf jidki ^ >.crw4ail? — 

^ :aaaideiilik iuue aUcr. 

A. D. 1794f. [86 

William Middieton sworn- 
^ You arc a sheriiTg officer in Edinburgh ?- 

Do you recollect bciny: employed to search 
the house of Robert Watt?-^Ye^, on the 
evening of the 15lh day of May. 

Who was employed in that ^arch with 
you?— Mr. William' Lockhart, 

What was the purport of that warrant? — 
The purport of that warrant was 10 seiu-ch for 
some ijaods secreted there, belonging lo a 
haudulent bankrupt. 

Were they found ?— They were found in a 
cellar, coming into the dining room of WaU*8 

Where were these spears ?— The door was 
locked where they were. It was opened by 
the smith that had previously opened the 
place where the bankrupl*s goods were se- 
creted; I took one in my hand, and Mr. 
Lorkhart said he thought it a dangerous in- 
strument; it looked very uncommon; he 
thought it dangerous, and asked if there 
were more ; [ said yes ; on laying Ihem down 
on the carpet, tticre were VI 

Did you malce any other tearch ? — Yes, upon 
the second time, we went in upon the second 
flat of Mr, Walt's house, ihiukjug we had net 
went too narrowly to wurk— we searched 
Iher— we found two more pike^, two baltli 
axes, and a shaft— these are them. 

Did you try them to the top ?— Yea, 

Aod'did they fit? — Yes. 

Did you make any farther srnrch aAei 
pikes ?— Yes, I went lo Robert Orrock, the' 
smith, at Dean. I had a warrant irom the 

What was it to do ?— To search for spears. 

Did you find any ?— I found twu or thn 
and thirty of the same kind; those are the 
instrumeuts thai were found in the smidd 
of Robert Orrock, the smith at Dean. 

And in an unfioislied stale ? — Mostly in 
unfinbhed state. 

Two or tliree atid thirty ? — Yes, I am noi 
positive of the number. 

What did you do then? — They were 
brought to the 5 he rifle's office, and' lodgei 
there, and Orrock brought a prisoner aJoiii ^ 
with thcra. 


Do you recollect w he u yuu searched Watt's 
House? — It was in the evening of the 15lh 
day of May. 

Was that towards the end of the week? — 
About Thursday. 

Did not you afterwards search Dowme*s} 
—Yes. ii 

J low long afVer? — I think about the 
turday after. 

Arc you sure it was not upon the Friday you 
searched Walt's hnusc? — ^No, sir. 

Did you 6nd any Hung in Downie's house? 
— No, sir ; but ilicrc wan a «slaie he ^ahI he | 
h;*d kept a journal upon, for the money under 
his hands. 


lif you found any pikes there?— No, 
J of the kind. 
Ijcii was it you searched Dowme*s I — I 
caniiol positively say. 

Wtts n the same uight you searched Wall's? 
— NOj 1 am pusilive it was not. 

Was Lockliart with you? — Yes it was the 
same rtay Itiat Lockharl aod Dingle %vcre 
searching Wall's house^ I was pre&ent with 

AJargaret Wkiiecrou sworn. 

Lord Advocttfe. — Do you know David 
Downic, the goidsmilbr i^ thai him there? — 

Were you in his service last winter ? — Yes, I 

What lime did you leave his service?— At 

Have yoti seen any thing like that before > 
i r showing the witness the pike head \ — Yes, I 
[ pave. 

Where did you sec il ?— In Mr. Downie's 

Was that before the term? — I think it was 
a ?reat while before the term. 

When did yuu we it ? -1 tiaw it in the morn- 
ing, when Twent Ut dujsl Ihe dining-room. 

What lime?— t beUcve it was about 6 
o'clock in the mormng. 

Did you ever have any conversation with 
jrour master about it ? — His son came and took 
It away* 

. there any conversation between your 
iter and mistress about it ? — She asked him 
; he hud done wilh the dividing knife. 
Did he say wfiether he had got the dividing 
knife ?— She a^sked Mr. Downie what became 
of the dividing knife dial Charles found in 
tlje dining room. 

What did he say ? — I believe he said he had 
locked il by. 

Had there been any body the night before 
• in yonr master's house at supper ? — No. 

Who let your master in that night?— 
\ I did. 

Was it late ? — I cannot be certain ; I had 
been m bed. 

Wm it four o'clock ?— I believe it wa^ ; the 
«iou came out iVom hi^ bed-closet in the mom* 
tng, as soon us he heard me in t)ic room. 
And took up this knife ?^ — Yes. 
I^thni In* thing Mrs. Downie called the 
divi< —I am not certain. 

Dm V who brought it there ?— No, 

I cannot say. 

Court. — Did the son take it awa^ frofQ 
jruur owo haiid?»NOf I iuui it noi io my 

Did your ma«(ter tay any thins about it, 
\ mhcu he camr- in Jate at night ? — No, sir. 

Dt ' your m.ister propose 

. tikii I the kind wiU) him at 

[m^U' -■• \',. 

11 when be came 

,^ in^ iM vjM.iv.-i — :-,uMi> but not much. 
Qti he took il away ?— Yes. 

Trial of David Dtmnie 


-Had Mr.Charles» tbe son, 
his fatlier that night ?— 

Lvrd Pre^idfuL' 
been out with 

Where did the son carry it to when he took 
it away? — I cannot say, h« took it into the 
I closet. 

Who asked Mr. Downie what he liad done 
wilh the dividins; knife? — Mrs Downa* asked 
him whnt he iiad done with the dividing 
. knife that the son liad m hi$ hand. 

What did he say f^Ht said he had locked 
it by. 

Lord President, — When was ihe nuestioa 
asked at Downie ? — Sometime after ; i cannot 
just recollect whether it was tiie tame day or 
I Did Mr Downie pay any thing more abaut 
dial dividing knile? — Ucdid nul say it was 
not ;i dividing knite 

Prav did yoti think Mr. Dgwnle was speak- 
iiiE cd'an in^trumoul like tliat, when he was 
talking of a dividing knite?— Nu. 

Did yon know what he was speaking of?— 
I did nut know. 

Are yuu sure the instrument you saw was 
hke this ? -To the best of my knowleilge I 
think it was. 

Had it such a thing as this and that ? 
[Poinlmg to the axe ana houk parts.] 1 think 
It had, but I hud it not in my band. 

When did you see it ?— A\ 6 ucior k. 
I Did you lake a good look at it ?— Not a 
I very j;uod Itntk. 

I Did you think what it was at t'" +■ ' - — I 
j never had seen ?.uch a isu-go divi. 

Would you lake that lor a divnjkii^ i^,,..,. / — 
I I cannot say. 

Pray is not your master a dealer tn old 
blades of swords, and di0mnt insinimejita ? 
— No, sir. 

Mr, C«//fn, — Had not he a working fbr- 
nace? — A snt.dl working mmace. 

Were you looking at it when the son camo 
and touk it up ?— No^ sir. 

Did tie go to hiB betl again after he took It 
up? — 1 iaiHKjl say, lir. 

Court.- Did he beein to Imvc any other bit* 
sincsji in the ;«>oai than takini; up the knife? 
— [ did not &ee uny other In ' < had^ 

Did you never tell your about 

a lhm|» of that kiiid^-tiji neigh- 

bours happcnc-d to he f»pt- > t it. I 

do not rrxoUccl ; tliey wiiu .,__.. li;^ about 
something, and I happened to be spe&klog 
about it. " 

It d)d not *»trlke you» you had seen a thing 
of that kind biiiore'? — No, sir I did not Ikuiiik 
much of It. 

Lard Prtiident — Hod you been in the 
room, the in . ?^ Yes. 

Were yun - 1 could not recolleet*! 

'■ I Mff were you in tl)atrooiii| 

i-nu i:, ■ ti.Lily 5iip in ihc room?—! caaOOl ] 


U ihai ;Uc iyc^i^i lUcy ci^uiaa&uly ^t i 

f^ High l^eason. 

\ not |tpil ^ ' bcoQ m bed bcfbre 

Ntf master cai ^ . c^* 

llr. Cuikn* — Did you let your master in 

'Wbcndj 1 ^ s serviced— At 

' " Tcd before 

iiy wages, 

-I ..^u -iven good 

I" fore I went; I then 

iir. -,. , . .tier place, and my 

ifite ft day or iwo before the term, 

tiur;sy; and my mistress would 

A. D. list. 



-SJie 5iiys her Imthcr came two days 
' took her away. 
rW*: . iljer cause? — No, aad I 

pd my Lr:!»2 ixi gc\ another place. 
rUitlMr^ Downie itnd fault with your con- 
io any other parlicular?— No tir, not 
L I koQW ai\ 

Rvhcrt Or rock sworn* 
^..r..-,t..*. Generate — You live at tlie 
' — A I Dean, 

lumber of I he Brititih Con- 
oiion in;i ! winter?— Yes. 

' You 1PCI ' I tt to it ?— Yes. 

iJkf^a know ih4.t tht! Briiibh Convention 
"^ 1 ikipersed by the niagiwtnites I — Yes, 
Aiitr tliat, Jo you know of a comniitice 
i tfifiointed and meeting f-^l know that 
? wm% but it was a good time after that. 
► liow kfog after ? — 1 cannot say. 
Wo«t|(l it he a month or u% weeks ^—«Cer- 
J it woa mnrc than ibat. 
,Aifi(e«ti] It Id?— There ware some 


Li of such a thing as a 

i Wi^ w ..«,.^-, .- .. i^l do not know. 

Il0 jon know ^ay of them at all ?— Yes. 

Wcf^ they chosen from oihcr societies ? — 

Ifcit liwii lather locietics There were diffe- 

\ ^bosen; anme cha«« more than one 

kfj fUpfiQie two or three ; but, m point of 

"Tiiig w(jo the lueitibers were^ there wer« 

*rfy lew titat 1 lor my part kut-w |»crfoctly, 

bill Ilif-rT* »-&• fium tiiat society that I cainc 

kmti, I 'T of lA'ith, there were Mf. 

iMh«j n, and ^Vdiiam Farquharson, 

Wlvii^ae?— adx. Watt. Mr. I>ownic, Mr. 

Wc» you vounelf a member of llial com- 
g|_y.: I ...... 

Wherr ( umittcc meet when th« 

ittr -> _ _ —I do not know whellier 

1 >ut our society met, and dele- 


lalf— At Goorgt^ Rosa's, 

If pTiMcnt Hi mure than one 

fcikii^:'— I «ru» prr^nt ^ many — at difte- 

otte^. I was not prcs*eat every nii^ht 

utieii from huiiiiess i could not get to 

} yini thcra whrn there waft aoy con- 
i almil arming f-« Yes I waa. 

''eti ns what was eaidf and who said it?^ 
It is rather a thing that ballks me — you 
speaking to me. 

Be lo good to tell what passed at this com* 
mittee f--l was reading the nemrstMipera ; 
there were ditibreot ooaa reading the pajp^r, 
and I myself for one. 

Mention who it wag f-*-l will mantion it 
whiin I have time. 

Tell your own story, it is best.— That is 
best. There were different ones reading 
the paper, and I myself for one, as I said 
before ; there was great the papar nf 
a French invasion ; there was likewise said^ 
but positively by whom 1 could not say, I 
fiuppofce it was by Mr. Watt, as I told you be- 
fore, that there were arms come down to iKt 
Goldsmiths-hall gentlemen; that was the 
words as near as I can say; I think Mr, Watt 
was the person that said so* Some one ther« 
said that we had better apply fur arms, and it 
was said again, by whom \ cannot say, there 
need no apnUcation : for, if the I'liends of the 
Peopb applied to government* they would get 
none. It was then said, 1 believe by Mr; 
Watt, I could not, as I have now ^worn, say 
he was the [)er^on, that there was no law in 
exifitence lo hinder us from getting arms for 
the defence a( the country ; at the lime upon 
which I was saying this conversation passed, 
I said [ would make one. \ 

What kind of arms ? — ^Thcre is the slicfc. 

What passed in the rommittee upon it f— 
There was no more passed. 

You said you would make one of them? 
What did you mean by tliem ?^ — What tliey 
had mentioned, to wit, weapons, 

Wiiat did they cali them ?- -I could not po- 
sitively i<aT that; they said they weie pikea, 
and I said [ would make a weapon ihr myKlf* 
which I accordmgiy did somriimc aflof, — 
tins was a considerable time afltr. 

Tell now who were present. Was Downie 
pres^cnt at thi$ meeting of the committee ? — 
Yes Mr. Dow Die, Mr, M*twan, Mr. Bon- 

And were any more? — I do not recollect 
who cIms was present, there were more peo- 
ple, tint thefo were people there I never saiw, 
iuid did not know their names-^ there wa« 
wa.H very little said. 

You Hccordiui^ly made such a weapon?— 
Yes I did. Upon n^aking it Mr, Wall CMtt# 
to the Water oi t^eilU, and he sent for me — 
I was bus^y working at home s»l the lini^; I 
did not go the first lime— there came down a 
per'^oti at; tin» and I wet*! to the Water of 
Leilh wheit I lelt work, and I a^kcd who sent 
for me; I luund it wa» Mr Watt, and be 
asked me il I had ituide buch a weapon. 

He see^vf'd lo understand what 4t wae,— * 
What did yc*u say ?* -I told him I had. 

WhiU kind of wei*poti was it that you made 
for yourH*»ir; like one of ihehc ? — No, like 
nofM/ of \hiTin. j 

Wlmt did Watt say ?--Make a knife lik» m I 
point of a tword, — it was a thick back wcwl | 
thin edge,— it was liharp on ^iVv »^^ -^ '^^ 




Trial of David Do/oinic 


poinV-it was sharp at the point on both sides 
about an inch. 

That was- the weapon you made for your> 
»elf,*"Mr; Watt said would not so and so be 
better?— I did not f«how it Watt, he only 
heard by representation what the weapon was 
like, before I showed him he understood 
what sort of weapon I had made, and of 
course said that would do better. 

Did he make a drawing any thing hke it ? 
— As far as I saw he did not upon paper, but 
the table was wet, and he niade it of that 
figure. He desired me not only to make it, 
but he desired after this was made according 
to his directions, I was to carrv that I made 
for myself, and tlie other to the committee, 
and accordin^y I did make and carry it ; 
that is the very thin^ I made to his directions. 
—After 1 bad made it, i was in the Committee 
of Union. 

Did you produce the two weapons in the 
committee or the other room ? — In the otlier 

Who desired you to come there ? — A lad 
came to me, I am' sure I couJd not rccoHect 
his name ; I produced them in the other com- 
mittee, not the Committee of Union. 

What ^o you call the Committee of Union ? 
— It was the Sub-Committee* There was 
Watt, Downie, Bonthrone, M*Ewan, and 
another man I did not know. 

Are you acquainted with Mr Stoke I — Mr. 
Stoke was not there, and I omitted that last 
night too. 

You speak every thing that is true now ? — 
Yes ; there was a man there, one Edward 
Wright, I saw giving money to Mr. Downic ; 
I could not say whether he was getting or 
giving, but the one or the other was the 
transaction ; I saw money passing. 

At tins Suli-Committee you produced the 
two weapons? — Yes. 

Explain all that was done?— He said it was 
loo &liort here [pointing to a particular part.] 

Too short where ? — Too short in the curve, 
the name that was given !o it, and too short 
on the other bide, but of the same shape. 

It was too short in the curve, and too short 
on the other sidef — The other man tliat 
was there drew one longer at both ends upon 
a paper, and Mr. Walt and Mr Downie both 
aaid, you will keep that in your eye, and make 
them in that same form. 

You were desired to make some more ? — 
They asked mc what would be the price. 

Who asked you?*-Mr. Watt: after tliat, 
Mr. Downie said not a word, be spoke no 
more, and the conversation was carried on 
by Watt, it was not long, it was a few mi- 
nutes. Watt said, what is the price of them ? 
1 aald^ I cannot say ; I had only made that on 
the stick, and this part of it; I had not made 
any more of them, I det^ired lo go out, which 
I did, and I went into the other room, and 
he told me, sa>s hc^ >ou will make a few of 
these— Mr. Watt said,— the word wjts without 
EO^ number,— as i wy,— I had given no 
price, he likewise' la^^ lue do Quinbcri-* he 

just came in when £ was going away home 
and Mr. Downie along with him. \ 

Was Downie with you, when Mr. Wi 
gave you orders to make a few ? — Yes, «ay 
he, make a few. 

Where was this ? — ^I was where I was seat 

Mr. Solicitor Genera/.— It was in the Con _ 
mittee of Ways and Means the pikes were' 
produced, he was desired to leave that, and 
go to the other, and he was told by Watt, and 
Downie was witli him, to make a few. 

Did you sel about making Uiem after this? 
— Some few days after. 

You set about executing your comnussiDB, 
in short ? — Ye*, a few days after. 

There was no number mentioned? — ^N» 

And no price fixed f — There was no price 
fixed. ,^j 

Did Mr. Watt, or any body else, come t#flH 
you?— Mr. Wattdid afterwards come to my shop, ^ " 

You accordingly made them under Mr, 
Watt's order ?-*-Yes- 

What did he say f-^Ue asked me if I had 
made them, or was making tbem^ accordmg 
to his order ; I told him 1 had begun, but 
had done very little; says he, what is the 
reason ? says 1, my servant is gone away from 
me, and the other lad and I have other jobs 
going on. 

How many did you make ?— The* order wai 
given this time. 

How many ? — Says he, you will make ^ or 
3 dozen of the cross pikes. 

And did he order ^ny of the plain pikes ?— 
No, not at that time. 

Look at these ? — Yes, these arc the very 
ones I made. 

Mr. J/wfrw<Acr.— What was the Committee 
of Union fSr?— The Committee of UnioiF I 
suspected was for no other reason than peti- 
tioning parhament. 

Was it not about a convention ? — Yes. 

You were to have a convention, were not 
you ? — Yes, it was always said there was 
be a convention ; I never tliought it was to 
for any thing, but to collect money for 
payment of the c\penses of the delega^ 
that was all- 

Ourf .— Were you paid by any body ?— 
I was paid, not then : I suspected Watt to 1 
my pay-roaster, but M*Ewan came lo me th 
night, and said, I was to be paid by M 
Downie, and he was to pay mc the witole I 
had the commission for, which was 5 dozen 
he brought me that word. 

Did you ever goto Downie^s in consei 
of that order ?— -No. 

You made those pikes in consequence of 
that order? — ^The only order, when Downie 
was present, was only to make a few. 

Cottr^.—You say now to uiiikc two or tbi 
do«en. Hobert Orrock, I beg you will 
attention, for you said " only a tew.*' 

Did you ever go to Mr. Downie ?— *No 

Did you ever deliver any to Mr. Watt h*~ 
No more than the two to Xht rommitlce. 


Jin- High Trtason. 

A.D. 1794. 


Yoo were a member? — Vcs, Mr, VVaiUle- 
*^rod before I wcul a^ray ; he said* be so good 
SI tolflsire TQur stick, and that weapon with 
ID0 all bi;;ht,»-that oight that Mr, Downie 
ina preteoL 

Did you Icai^e the slick and pike? — Yes, I 
kit llii»atidlh« olherooe, I never saw it after* 

DH yuiA ever deliver any other ?— Never 

Tktf were seixed before you delivered your 
order f<-4ie deiiredtnct to leave that with him 
•U ai^bl, aad the stick. I never saw him 

Wiiliam Brown sworn. 

Mr. Aiutruthcr,"'Mr. Crown, had you ever 
ao order to make atiy of tUc^e Ihing!}? — Yes. 

D«d you ever make any ?— Yes, 

How m;ir)y did you nmkc?- — I made 14 of 
eltet Mti4, and one like this. 

Sfaov wbich ? —I m.ide fuurteeu of tliat 
Jdai, sr;^ ^*^ *' *^ :t, [the single spear U, 
tWoil :]^ 

Oi4 ' '- r^*^s ?— Yes, I look 

I II I 1 1 III noon; Mr. Watt, 

I I i. tuii me he was sorry 
lit Ind > f^iy me ; I told hirn I 

net y; he seemed as if he 

bofTuw the tuoiiey — he aaid Mr. Dew- 
i wouJd pay me ; he gave me a line to Mr» 
Nrutc lu pay nic. 
Buw much ? — Twenl^two shillings and six> 
thai was the price of 14 of thcsei and 

LWbatwas tbe plain long ones ?— Fifteen 

'Ivc sluliings. 

it: line? — ^Fhc line 
^y ute 2 'if, 6d. and I 

riiilwa^ :' *' 
r. C^rrA 

^Jbr Mr. i^>urtu.r. 
I to aroixml for it 

there no other order?— No order 
titwaa lor* 
1 jfiou any conversation about it with Mr. 
tlofniie?**! am not certain but lidr. Downie 
■ i g i il htve a&kcd me how Mr. Watt was, but 
Ibm «aa oo altercation between Mr. Downie 
ad ac. I got the money upon Mr. Waifs 

tou did not say tf^ Downie what it was 
fcil— Iftib ii«i>»^ : iiie. 

Citi^ v^tion. 

Mf. Cier lb-*Did Downtct ask you what tbe 

for? -No, he did not. 
Mr' dmtiruihrr.^y OUT evidence is this — 
Ave you an order upon Downie, and 
lit |iftKl y Oil t^iG money ; is not that tt i 
Diwmie paid yeu the money P—Yc^. 

Wit Ham H(atiim sworn. 

Mr. ^ajlrwirr.— Do you know tliai Reo- 
Utmaii tliat it utiting there between those 
^pa tol<iier> f — Y r^, * i > 

\n*M ts tl»lg' ! . Downie. 

yoii ever il the Fcuci- 

9^r— Y0% w* 


Did yon ev(?r sec tlmt gentleman at Mr, 
Ritchie's shop door? — Yes, as I was going 

Where is Ritchie's shop. — In the La^ 
Market. I heard of the paper, and I wai 
anxious to see it. 

What uaper ?— That paper, an address to 
the Fenciules, 

Is that ihp r^^'^^r you were inquiring after I 
—-Yes, at tlie one I saw : I asked 

him if he r . — - ^ly my curiosity to see 

Eaper of the kind i had heard of; and he ss , 
e could not, but if I would follow him dowa 
the street, he would get me one ; and 
carried me to Mr. Watfs; we went down, 
there, but we did not i^et it there; then w» 
went to Mr. Kennedy, and the name ofj 
Montgomery was upon tbe door at the Southri 

What passed there I — Mr, Downie weni 
into the tack shop of Mr* Kennedy, and 
little time after that 1 followed, and Mr, 
Kennedy gave them me. 

Gave you what?— These papers. 

Was Downie there when he gave Ihem 
you ? — Yes. 

Tell us how he gave them you?— -Mi\j* 
Downie, after he gave them me, took thena'. 
out of my hand, and threw them down upoa 
the floor, for fear any evil might accrue 
Mr. Kennedy, 

What more ? — He bid me take them up. 

Did he say any thing else to you? — N< 
onlv to say I found them. 

Was there one or two of these papers ?- 
No, there was a good u umber of ihem. 

Was there a good number of ihcin ? — ^There* 
was upwards of twenty of them; I did nol 
number thetn* 

For fear any harm should accrue to Mr, 
Kennedy, what did you do with them ? — I 
gave them to several of my acquaintances, 

Where?— In Dalkeith. 

Were the liopctouu Fenciblcs there at thai 
time?— They were there about that timeafj 
whether a short time or not before, I could 
not tell. 

There had been some marched through 
before, had not there ? — I cannot tell. 

It was just about tlic time they were lliere ? 
— ^Ycs. 

Were they expected at Dalkeith at thai 
time ? — They were there about that time. 

Do you know a man of the name of Jolui- 
ston ? — Yes. 

Did you give him any ? — I gave him one. 

Whom else did you give one to? — I gai 
one to Eliiot 

Wliat did you say to liim ? — I do not 
ber saying; any thing more ; we had soi 
conversation about the curiosity of it. 

llow came there to be such a curiosity 
about it ? are you a Friend of the People?- 
Yes, I was a Friend of the People. 

I believe you were secretary to one of thciri 
societies?— Yes* I wis secretftry to Uie 
cicty at Dalkeitli. 


34 GEORGE 10. 

Triai of David Dcmne 


Did you see Downic before?— Yet, I saw 
him in the CoovtMitioii ^oiae lime. 

Did yotrr acqiiaiutance tommence in ike 
Cooveniion ? — \ e». 

Tliat wtnild be n society of Friends of the 
People?— Yes. 

IIow CJinie yotJ to think Uiat Mr. D(»wnie 
VfBS likely to sail sty your curiosity?— I 
thoiighl |M ' ' ' r' * ' ^^ *1 i'ln. 

Does 1 1 a possibly, 

being an a- ijojiiiijLit.t;, i»t. iMi^^i i^'t me liave 

Did you ask Mr* liilchic about Ihcm?— Pcr- 
, ba^s I might. 

But do you remcniber yoa asked Dowoio f 

Did you ask Ritchie f — I might have asked 
' him. 

Did you ask him ? — I might have asked 
him, lial I do not particularly remember. 

Whom did you give it to'be«de Elliot f — 
I gave otic to a laiL 

And oDG to Johnstone f^-^Yei, 

What did yon do with the rest? — There 
were some others got them. 

What did you do with the reslN'-Aftcr 
^ peopk said they would be hurtful^ I destroyed 
tbe rest* 

You were told Ihey would be hurtfid befort 

Bownie SAid thev wonld be hurtJUl— comr, 

' remember yourself^ who told you Uiey would 

he hurtful? — I do not rf member; 1 heard 

( several people speak ab*iut them — they said, 

fthe people would say^ if the fencibles saw 

them, there would he some disturbance. 

Do you know a man of the name of Wright ? 

Did ht hrnis? any to fmi ^-Na. 

And y<ui ne to him? — ^No. 

Who i^ I ' ?-^llc is a miliar. 

Wliere ooc^ inj hve^ — lie iive» nigh Dal- 

A mile or two from ilF— A very short way. 

Is it a§ far as it is from the New Bridge?— 
\ 1 ciumot pusi^ly say. 

Is it oa fii9 as Ihi Cro9»f-^II if just across 
^ the river. 

la it half a mik?— Soircely. 

WUlttun Johmtone sworn. 

Do you know a person of the name of Wkt> 
m ? — ^Ves, he is a young man of Dalkdth, 
' flon to Robert WaliiMi^ 

Have you seen him just now ? — I ha\*c sei'ii 
'him come out of yon* hous^eiust now. 
Did VOQ gft * iKtper from him f — Ye*, 
lil Rie paptr like that?- -Ye^ I think it 
What did he say to you when ho ^Ye it io 
t3Wuf^*-To I he ^ *-» ''t^ my remembrance he 
[Mid I might ti at it 

Did juu bok 1 (hd. 

WbAt did you do with il ^*-I gav« il to 
James Sandilandt. 
Was tliero any penioo 
«irbcthcr thcra w.ii ^ 
%-^ wai in the publu; »U«^'t; tlwre 

might be persons in the street, and yet none 
ill company. 

Waa any man in a red dress and philibeg;af 

I bt-lreve I^rd Ilo|ielouQ*s h not ahtghlaiid 
dres^F —No, J believe ii i«i not. 

Were the ]• tbrre lit that time? 

-*-I do not t ' ere sijldicrs in the 

slreel, periiyi»^ lutu im>^i»i lie soldiers within 
a iftw yards. 

Was there any as near as that gentleman 
to me with the bpcctaden? — I cannot say as 
to the distance. 

Was it therr^abouts ? — I cannot positively 
ascertaui Uit* distance. 

Was it iOO yards ?-^Oh ! certainly it might 
be within loss. 

Was it less?*— I cannot ascertain the dis* 

W^ hereabouts was il?— I can give you no 
regular account* 

It was no great distance, was it? — No very 

What did you say to Sandilands?*^! said he 
miglit take a look at it. 

No more ? — I cannot remember. 

Now do recollect yourself ?— I have thought 
of It again and n^in. 

Art you sure you said no more to him ?— 
It might escape my memory, because I did 
not charge my meuiory with it. 

What did Wats^jn yiy when you took tlic 
paper ? — I do not recollect. 

What were you to lake a look for ?— *Il wis 
not mentioned. 

Are you a member of the Friends of Xht 
People ?-^No, I never was. 

Do you know whether Sondilands can read! 
—I suppose he can. 

Do you know he can ?•*-! odinot ascertain 
a^ to th;it. 

fsandiliiuds was brought into eonrt3— If 
that iho man you gave it to ? — Ye?> sir. 

Jamfs &indilandt sworn. 

Do you know that man that is just gone 
out?--- Yea. 
Did he over give you a printed paper?— 

Did you read it ?— No> I never did, 

Whom did you give it to ? — Serjeant 

W'hat is your name ?•• -James Sandilands. 

W h;il arc you ?— A miner. 

W hat is Uanly ? — He is ui lord Bopctoun^s 

What distance was Johnston when you 
saw bim?*— About '' f •■ »tncc. 

What did Jol ?— lie said he 



M l..,L 

thought ^erjcaul u 

paper. 1 took it out ol Ui^ 
I had no tl^^uLl ht' would : 


^' ■ . ■'.- ' ■'■ . ■ '' «^^« 

scrjeaui^— Just alioiit ttt«$ dufttiukce of you 
and (. 

And JohoabOQ was just by you f**YeS| John- 


^r High Treason. 

ftmi WMs just ty my back when he gave 
It inc. 

Scrjoant Harthf cdled. 

fo Bardy>} Do yuu know ttiat pcrsOD, 

To $«liiSUmt>ds,] Is that the man yoti gave 

rndEf.— Yei9. 
BcQeaot Hardtf sworn. 
^l|r*ilWr»«^<T;— WKjil -— Mr. Har- 
dy ? - —A ferjean i iu lord U < nc i I j Ics . 

Whemm-^^ ^-^'^^T iii'Uiur ...^ ihrough 

Dul voti . , . — Yes* 

i.A' '. -JVC yuu llint p»per?— No^ tills is 
i^^r [nQOthcr shown him.]*— This m 

iknds give it you ? — Yes. 
311 jpiMi see whom Sundilaads got it rrorti ? 

^haX md Sondilands? — He asked me to 
pkit tt; I ' ' ' ' ' ! ' ! where he 

lit; Ue*5 name; 

liftid tbert: wTTtr. iiii, .i[i-> fji .«,t-t]jaou!» peo* 
I l>tlkeitl)^ but he never went near any 

re you going to at that time? — 
^c _,_ _u our march to l.tif'Und. 
lottrmimeot had i, and agreed 

„ I Uf Eagliiiid «t 1 : --Three hun- 

mi q( them. 

Bartholonmw OConno% s^vo^n. 
Xtrrf Advocate.— What regiment are you 
I— The Till rei^irneDl of feacibles. 
fbo cociniands them? — ^^ILic eurl of Hope- 

^crtjTOu In tha village ofDalkeitli lately ? 
LWas tha regiment there ?— Yes^ part of the 

f h^i time ?— I do not remember wliat day. 

^xk "it t^^.^ or tltn e moiilhs ago? — 'Yes, 

vou 9iny printed papers 
li a tnin rinic ui» und 

M, i- ' atd? He 

tiift, i' vibc you 

B0t lb ^y (^t you vi^'ili be ^ii &old to go 




tut' re »> ij |>rjuVed 


.ij-Li? — No, my lord, I 
it ihu foot of jl there 

^— He put it into 

,1 in nr» ha.iJ, 

. of 


Mid ' 

|. ..... 

M U 

«.. .^ii<LM >;. 

^*.nvu. uTc you of?-^Tlic 


A. D. 1794^ 

Is that lord Hopetoun's?— Yes. 

Where are you at present ?— Al Liverpo- 

Do they know the village of Dalkeith I 

Were you there on your march to En^. 
land? — Yes on going to England in May lasl 

Had you any conversation in tliat pluce re^ 
lative to your march to Engliind? — ifcs, sir, 
— one day as I was walkuig, a gentleman 
came up to me, and offered mc a paptr* 

VVas U printed ?— Yes. 

Did you read that paper? — Yes, two 
tiirce read it. 

Did any body else read il?— Yes, John 
G eddies did ; I took no thoughts about it at 
that time ; it was signed Dundee. 

Was it advising you to go to England, 
or dis&uadiDg you Irom ^oinj^ to England ? — 
It told us we were all sold if we went to Eng- 
land « if we staid at home we should get thou- 
sands to help us. 

Can you read ? — No, sir, I cannot. 

Who read it to you?— Another chap read 
it to mc. 

Is he here? — No, he is at Whitehaven. 

John Giddies ^worn. 

Lord AdvoeaU. — What regiment are y( 
in ? — lord Hopeloun's. 

Do you know the town of Dalkeith ? — YesT 

Where is ^our regiment quartered at pre* 
sent? — In Liverpool. 

Were you in the town of Dalkeith with 
your regiment when il marched to England ? 
— Yes, 

When was that ?— [No answer.] ^j 

Do vou know Archibald M'Fadzean ^—Yc^^H 

Had you any conversation with anybody i^^fl 
Dalkeith about your regiment going to Eng- 
land ? Did any body ever show yuu a paper 
about it ? — No. 

Did any man show you a paper ? — I eaw a 
man in Uie street witll them. 

What did the man in the street do with 
them? — I saw him giving them out to the 

What did it mean? — I went into Archibald 
M*Fadzean*s quarters^ and I found him read- 
inz it. 

Was he readinj^ it ?— Yes, and some more*] 

Who more? — Some of our own men 

Do you remember the purport of il r* — Yes, 
it was advising^ us not to i^o to England, and 
if we stood bauc, we should get thousands to 
assist us. 

Do^ou remember any particular expres- 
sions m it? — I remember a paragraph at the 
latter end. 

What was it?—'* Stay at home, O !_ Dear 
Brothers, be advised unci slay at Sv»«»"^ ' 

Lord Advocate. — lljis \h ihc »•! t 

per Hardy swears lie received ir * 

IandS| which is now to be read. — It is date' 

^' '- April 12,179* 
<* Friends and 
" It ib with tije }ii. inTsi I'leasure that J 
country incn are infonned, Ua\ 'svidv \% s 


rattaclimeiil and love to ihcm, and your native 

rCouriiry, thai you niantully and firmly resolve 

[sot to leave it upon any terms, contrary to 

[those upon which yon were at first engaged. 

I Your countrymcn'love yon, and our hearts 

7%onld be as Innch wounded to part with yotj, 

as yours wouhl be to be separated from them. 

They well know that they are safe under the 

protection of tlieir fiilhers, their sons, their 

brolhera in arms, and they neither wish nor 

|lesire any other defenders. They hope and 

ehc\*e, that your hearts are filled with the 

Ifame sentiments. 

r •' 1 he great mass of the people, from among 

J whom you have been enlisted, have been re* 

preticnted to you a^s your enemies : believe 

Dol the assertion. They have been taught to 

consider you as foes : but they do not fear 

Indin^ friends among their brethren. 

' Their cause and yours is the same. They 
ire poor, but ihey have honest hearts — hearts 
irhich sympathize in your cause ; they look 
br the same friendship and the same sym- 


***They rejoice to hear, that yon are "becom- 
!ng daily more coaviuced of the great trulli — 
that the hiw ought to be the same to the 
HiRhlander and to I he Lowlander, to the rich 
and to the poor, and that no man can be com- 
pclfcd to take up arms by any authority what- 
soever, unless his own inclinations prompt 
him to do so, 

** This truth has been hitherto carefully con- 
cealed from you, but it is not the less certain. 
The vtill of your laird cannot, without your 
own consent separate you from your families 
and fi"icnds, although many of you may have 
experienced the exertions of such a power, 
however unjvist, and however contrary to law. 

'* We respect, and admire the principle 
which induces you (though necessity has com- 
pelled yoir to lake up arms) still to persist in 
renminln^ to defend your friends at home, 
and not quit a country which holds pletlges 
so dear; 

'* When jou are gone. — Where is their dc* 
fence? ihe^' maybe eitncr left without pro* 
tectron, or may soon see their country over- 
run liy forpi'ii' tionp^, jiuch as, in time past, 
have alreiji' blood of your ancestors 

without pr , and without remorse, 

and who would feci, perhaps, as littic com* 
punction in shcrlding theirs. 

•^ Prepared for every deed of horror, these 
Itircign mcfccuHrics may violate Uic chastity 
of your wives, ynur sisters, and your daughters ; 
and, whan dtrsirr is satiated, cruelty may re» 
•^ ' ' Ah experience 

1 n, an J friends^ 

I m^y be im*olved 

Trial of David D(mnie 


tality, were pierced with the daggers of their 
treacherous guests, and the feast prepared bj 
the hand of unsuspecting friendship, was closed 
with a scene of blood ! Such is the return for 
kindness and hosnilahty ! Such the prottM> 
tinn your famihcs have lo expect!!! 

** How will ihey then look around in vaift 
for jour protecting care, when, perhaps you 
arc hghting at a distance in a foreign land — 

but tiiey hope you will not forsake them 

Slay, Oh I stay, and defend your families, 
ana your friends ! 

" For that purpose alone you were en- 
listed. They ure !cady lo come forward for 
you in the vindication of your rights. 

** Thousands join in the same sentiments 
with you, and ardently w^ish for your con* 
tin uancc Among them. The circumstance* 
which might require you to quit your country 
have not yet taken place. No mvasion lias 
yet happened — You cannot be compelled to 

go — leave not your country, — assert your in- 
dependence ; — your countrymen will look up 
to you as their protectors, and guardians, and 

hearbi tlirobbmg wilii kindness %od hospi- 
* See Val i$fj^. d79 of thu Collecuoa* i 

ipendence ; — your countrymen will look up 
, you as their protectors, and guardians, and 
will, in their turn, lift up their arras to piolcct 
and assist yon.'^ 

John Fairlei/ sworn. 

Lord Adtotatt. — Where did you commonly 
reside f — In Broughton. 

Do you know a man of the name of George; 
Ross? — Ye*, 1 have a little acquaintance of 

Where did he live last spring, before you 
were taken into custody? — ^In the Cowgatc, I 

Near the South Bridec ?— Yes. 

Did his house enter irom the South Bridge? 
—Yes. it enters both from the Cowgatc aad 
South Bridge. 

Do you know of any committee being held 
in that man's house last sprinc ? — There was 
a committee of collectors which met there. 

Were you a nicmbcr of the British Conven- 
tion ?— Yes. 

Of course of the Society of Friends of the 
People?^ Yes. 

EHd your society send any delegates to tlie 
Committee of Collectors? — Yes. 

So you were a collector ? — Yes. 

Do you know of any other Committee of 
Collectors? — ^The Broughton Society ap- 
pomted some members to a Commillee of 
Union, which met there. 

Were you a member of that Coramhtce of 
Union ?— No, I was not. 

Do you know of any other committee that 
met then ' ' ' ' " ^ -There was 

another that com- 

mittee, biM i .v,.^ **.., .. (..r...iM , ofjl. 

Were you ever with that last-mentioned 
committee, m company with thcra ? — Yes. 
^V ho were the persons jou saw ia thai 

ri rrmiUiri . .iiul uliuui vou understovKl to be 
%etin Mr 
i I!, and Mr, j 

U \iu Id he ^—1 Uhovc be is s jeweller. 

Ji^r High Treason. 

htm again if you saw 
[X I would. 

1» iiul imu behind you there? — Yes, I 
\imk it 9%, 

ly else in that coxnmUtee? 
ke there, 
.My*r, w nji js he ? — I do nol know 
It br wss; he was a student, 1 believe. 
Wrrc you ever employed by that commit- 
*ofi anjr ocdAion ?— 1 was twice or thrice. 
|jilL.t .r. .iV.N'h ilu^ ^MlJcclars were?— In 
ihtef^i , it W48 moved, 1 do 

nrA r- , Umt fcubbciiplign 


, ^ > should be gotten ? 

y wAuted tnc io get thche 

-m and told the committee, 

i I £oi the piiP^rs, and went on one nisht, 

I to£j them I had got it ; I was on another 

I Iherei and toldthcm wc had chosen a 

A. D. 1794.* 



CUUlIDillLf ! 

ci?— It was myself. 

imucc of Union, or the 
-It was the other com- 

Bid )*ou ever hear any other name given to 
tislSttboofnnihtee, tlun wlmx you have just 
AMT utM%cd} — ^Thcy c!iU them a Sub-com- 
■iUatt iud a Committee of Ways and 

Ibe Committee of Ways and Cleans 

mptoy you in niv olhcr business?-*- 

fhfj nef tT in any other busi- 

feaa; I do ti :• other buiiioess. 

Mr, AtulruiJttr.— ii wimiy Oil said the other 
A*y hf frtjf?, you will leM it over attain tollicse 
f , r .. [ 1^215 g<, Wciil country 

t^ k4 1 h*d t I country, and 

i iscAiTi %uniQper r Lcanie from 

AiHh^ they biid : * wstounness ; 

tffipiMl 5% uj L'i^truvvbtounness; he 

U0imiktd M V'"* ^^'^iddt^vke a Jetlcr; who 
■ai ibai ficnon^— Mr. Bonthronc; the next 

4» Ir^iiftl *in Mr \\ Alt ;in<l tul/l him (hat 


at the Lucli* 

t! Ill), ;uid he 

i«k0l ci»(« fl i J ' baidl 

owld pet It af M ater* at 

tilt Lti# .. kilLt trQm Mr. 

fiooctu b \V att ^;ivc me a 

IrtlCT ■ • .>t from Mr. 

Cfoviti i with me. 

W«.s • ! KM. 

i ; '— *i »•> i*"i III! I 

- -Lic were «imf let- 
Ik cif aad tho iualnictions of 


> «yillt it}— 

1M >c*u iM W ^iaiin^ aud 1 alkirk ^— Yes. 

What were the instructions? — He desired 
me to go to Mr, Downie, and send money to 
them, and the iu«iU iictions were, to concspond 
with Mr* Downie, ai*d also to inquire the 
number of patriots in each place, and to send 
money to Duwnie. 

Was any thing else in the instructions ?--) 
There was something about u plan, but I do 
not recollect tlie exact words. 

Kecollect yourself, what was it? — Apian 
about sometlung. 

Vou talk about papers and regulations for 
the society, and circuhr letters, were they 
prmlcd or written ? — Printed. 

Was the commbsion printed ?— No, it wai 
in writing. 
W^re ujere seals to if? — No. 
You said there was something about a pkn; 
had you any conversation with Walt, or Dow- 
nie, or Stoke about a plan ?-^I never had any 
conversation with Downie or Stoke, but W' alt 
spoke to me. 

What was it? — Something about imprison- 
ing the magistrates, and seizing the Dank 
and public olllces. 

And what else? — And those most active 
against the people, or soraetliin^ of that sort. 
What was to liappen to Uiem? — ^They were 
to be imprisoned. 

W^s there any thing else in ii? — They 
spoke something about sending couriers to 
iLc coimtry, to tell what was done. 

What was dene?— Why about seizing them 

Those persons you mean ? — Both pcrsoi 
and things. 

Was there any thin? about that plan in t\ 
paper of instructions)— It did nut say whal 

What did you understand by Uiat word irfj 
the paper. What plan did you think it 
upon your oath ?— It miglit be that — I canQ< 
You went to the Queen's Ferry? — ^Yes. 
Where next? — To Stirling. 
Did you show the committec*s histruclioiif 
to any body at the t^uecn's Ferr)- ? — Yes. 

Where did that Incnd live that you were' 

coiuK to see? — It waa a sister of mine w 

rivcifin service al Alrth^ on the other side^i 

the water. 

Did yuu go to Stirling ? — Yes. 

Were yuu acipiaintcd with any body i 

Stirling?— I culled upon Dr. Forrest; I hear 

of him, but t bad no acquaintance with him|, 

1 i4»m whom ditl you hear of him ? — I have 

heard of him thftcrcnt times at Kdmburgh, 

bcin*; a FrJcml of the IVuple *tt Stirhng. 

Did you go to Airtli ? — Ves. ^ 

Were you at Dorrowsiouuness ?— I did go^ 

to Burrow fttoiinnc^s a^ I came back -. I wcnl 

lo see the place ; 1 did not leave any tiling 


Did you go to fee any body there ?— I baa, 
no letters f<ir Horrowstounne^s, 1 had no dirc&| 
lions to open it there. 
Yuu never saw doctor Forrest before Uiatj 

you heard of him as a friend of freedom ; — 

From whom dkl you ever hear it ?— I can- 
not say* 

Did you ever hear [of him in the Com- 
mittee of Ways and Means f— No, I cannot 

Did yoii see doctor Forrest ?^ — Yes, I did. 

And vifhii passed between you and the 
doctor. Now, sir, you said, thai you would 
tell him the news of Edinburgh, and he 
would icll you the news of SUrliiijj? — Yes, 

Now what was the news of Edmburgh I — 
I do not recollect, but I showed him the 
paper of reflations, and the circular letter I 
brought with me, and the paper of instruc- 
tions of the commiUee* 

Now, did you ask the doctor to introduce 
you to any more of the friends of freedom 
there?—! believe I did,— there were two or 
tbrec came to his house 

Do you remember the names of them ? — 
1 Itiink there wasi a man of the name of 

Was there any particular conversation 
passed between you and these friends of 
doctor Forrest,- *tell I he jury what the subject 
of your conversation was? — I cannot tell 
what the subject was; I had a copy; I Would 
tdl them tlxat they were about to make pikes 
in Edinburgh, or something of thai kind. 

You rather think yon did that ? — Yes, I 
think I did. 

t Wliat did those gentlemen say to you when 
they heard about makin-j pikes at Edinburgh? 
*-f hey told cr,e that the society at Slirfing 
was not so numerous as it once was; but 
what they said when I told them about the 
ptkcs I do not rccoUcct» 

Did they fiay any thing else about the stale 
of the friends at Stii-lmg?— I rather think 
they ?aid ihry were willing to contribute 
money, but th( . ' ' i do any thing else. 

What ebcdl rslaiid by this an- 

swer r^^I remciin^Li iiig that; 

I understood that Ih were not 

numerous, there were ....ix^. ii Lutin there* 

Is thai what you understood by the word 
pise?— Yes, they said we could expect no 
thcr supnort but money. 

Were they happy when thrv tK-ard pikes 
were preparing, or were ' ? — They 

did not !<ay whether they nv , or sorry. 

Did iliey approve or di^pprove ?— No, 
Ihcv did not. 

*:fhey iuid nothing nhcrnt it? — ^Not that I 
broiler t, 

''■ ' '■■ ' . ' . "—''-; -Trcst 
In you 

M' ir, liirfc^l ?-• '► 


...i.--Wii5 it like 

--. . ,-- those before ^--I bad 
' wca any before; 1 had beard iKcin 

tkaoibed it u> you ?*«I hive heard 

Trial qf David /)otem> [1 04 

them describe it. T recoUecl I had drawn a 
dmu^hi of some before this ; and gave it to 

Where was this? at Edinburgh, or Brought 
lon?^I cannot say where I drew the dntught, 
but I ^ave it to Mr. Watt; 1 sketched one oo 
a slate, because Mr. Watt desired me; then 
he said I would do it upon a bit of paper, and 
i did do it. 

Would you knew that paner again if you 
saw it ; took at that ? — I thinlt that is it. 

Who was It who described it to you?^ — I had 
seen them of that 4ort before. 

Where?— I think the Serjeant's hjJberts 
are something hke that 

Did Watt tell you for what purpose he 
wanted those things? — We said the piket 
were intended for self- defence. 

You drew this to doctor Forrest at StiriiDg i 

You do not recollect whether he was glad 
or soiTy, or approiTd or disapproved f — No, 

Where did you go the next day ?— To St. 

Were you acquainted with any body there f 

Whom did you sec there ?*—Mr. M*Cross, 
and Mr. Brown. 

What is M'Cro^a?— A mthisler of relief. 

What is Brown? — A writer. 

Did yon know tho^e betbre ? — Ko. 

How' can \e ^^'^ ^^^^H ni»tm them? Did 
YOU ?<how the 11 Hvm, or did you 

ieave them iht. ^ . . - , -, r- ?— Yc^. 

Did you tr-ll uicm any thin| about ihc 
pikes ?**.No, I do not think ! dtd. 

Where did you go then *— ' 'u 

Whom did you see there?— lerson- 

and Mr. Yule ; Anderson is a mim^ler, and 
Mr. Yrde is a minister- 

V. 'oiifeelhcm? — I to* • ' ti> 

Mr ,and he took them i 

Diu you li ivcihc printed papers wuj) uicm ? 

W here next ? — ^To Camp*?ie. Mr. Yule 
with mc— 1 do not know to whom. 

Did you lea%'e p^* 

Did you show i 

recollect. I went t 

son went with mc i 

Did yoti show hn 

pike?— r do not 
iflr^rh; Thomp- 


Where then ? — ^Then 1 went to * ilj^^o 

Where did you call there?— <Jti .Mr. Su 
cJair, a reed-tnaker. 

Wjis Sinclair a member of the convention f 
— 1 dri not know. 

flirt ht* Like )*cju Under hi!* protection ?— lie 
w^- ' t x%'ene Uiere, and 1 went 


V' -^ It is where 

pai 1. 

J '■"■' — tn 

yo*- ■- 

vtr. .,.. ..... -:-,...;...*; , , ^ ^vc 


\v : ftn6x» wh09P Ikcts you 

reeugnuird xo tiic reading-room ; w«m Ikfty of 


J^f High Treason* 

A. D. 1794. 


iheifi iMnh^fi of ll^e Brtdsh ConvcoUoa ? — 
t ffid ml faaem tHemt fhett ^erc none that I 
|ra€5f; I iatd there ^were none of iheir faces 
thmt t kttew* 
^Di4 }f^^ ^o *f*y farther to the west? — I 

I Aid joli €all on there ?— Mr. Haitie. 
I yim Imvt any papers?— Yc5. 
I yoy gu farther west ?*-No. 
I jpoii came home? — Yes* 
I^WImo^ did you "O first ? — First to my fa- 
^ aad then to llie Com mil Ice at Ross's. 
fwB it lUe Coramitlee of Ways and Means, 
buSiA-coinmiUoe ? — Some tall il one way, 
\ the otbcr,— it was coramittee night, 
pDnl you ftnd any members of the com- 
'Uiert?— There was Watt, IvrEwan, 

Bi< jrou itate any thine to the committee 
pfeti to the olttces where you had been, 
^m^ptei to ihe imture of your journey ? 
lool remember the particulars of what 
I Hid. 

I lak I ?— .1 told them that the 

ftJMi^ A hearty. 

I WlMii ui fiiltce say to that, were 

ka|if) did they appear to ap- 

•c* — ' II J cither. 

Wi5 ? Did you eivc them 

laick fl^.^ . — . , , ers?— No, I did not. 
PWjfrtijgivc them back f— I gave Ihem 
' liae «iys afterwards, 

jpou take any notes?— I took down 
um^ of the people 1 called at as I went 

at fwrwne of that paper ?— I gave that 

. ihal. or show it to the com- 
tliAi lughtf — NOj t believe not; I do 

W ywi i I T ate any further pariicu- 
Im Id ihr f } — I am sure I cannot 

y»r>"-* ' " *Tiey were hearty, 

" l>»i . ^es of that journey 

I ot ■ >,^, ur out of yoiu' own 


i,rn«:ps — T frot a letter 

and he 

^vnie gave 

I ymt^pend all the money in your jour- 
ff— lit i:ri. of It, 

Fh do with the rest — I gave it 

ItJie ci^iumUtcC) and Ihey gave it me l^ack 

^— I sup- 

if that committee ? 
'^'"-- — hut I 
■f*"' ■ .M.Aer at 

, -1 ^ No, I did 

f bfti Ume did yot* get tiiere ?— I got there 

Whst time did you leave it^-*i iancy 
n tight be about 6 o'clock. 

What made you not come back apu^ ftffcer 
you had seen your sister? — 1 wnDtodloaee 
the country. 

How came you not to gpand lee theemmty 
of Filc» as well as Laoarkahire^^I went ta 
see my sister, 

Stirling h a little farther ofi* than your sia^ 
ler's — Yes il is. 

How came you to go a little farther aftfl 
you had seen your sister? — As I had 
tilings, I just went uluno^ with them. 

But why did nol igwuhlhcmlo 

Fife as well as to > , ^re i — 1 was near 

Were not you as near to Glasgow?— I had 
no particular reason for it, eacept it was to ga 
and see them. 

Is it a common thing to take a loilg joum^j 
when you go to sec your sister ? — you took a 
journey to Kilsyth, Kirkintilloch, GlasgowJ 
and Paisley ?— I cannot say. 1 

How came this committee to pay yoti for* 
all this journey? — ^Becausc tiierc were aiib- 
serin lions going on for those that sufi«r«d 
liitely» and I told them to send money to the 

Whose business was thii* you were going 
about when you went this journey < — was it 
your own business, or the committee's f — It 
was the commit tee's business. 

How did you know the committee had any 
bu.^iness at Glasgow ?^By my commission ; 
I was not confined ; 1 had libcrly to go wliere 
I liked-^l might go to Borrow slounne^s^ and 

Tlie instructions said^ ^ to Falkirk, Bor- 
Towslounness and Stirling >— Yes. 

Then how came you to explain the S ^ g, 
atwl the other letters with blanks, to me, that 
it meant the three other places? — Because 
there were socielies there. 

What sort of socielies ?— The Friends of the 

Tnen you thought yourself at lil*erly to p* 
to any other pbce where there were Friends 
of the People? — Yes. 

1 1 was l>ut reasonable, to be 6tire, the in- 
structors should pay you ; tell me how yoti 
got the commission, and what was in it?~It 
waA just lulling me to call at the societies. 

\> hat did it say ? — ^It «ai(l the committee 
authorized me to call at those places. 

You said you found in .Stirling they would 
give you support by money, but wuufd not give 
you any tiling else, they were not ready for 
any thing else ?— They would give support by 
money, hut nac other way. 

What do you mean by nac other way *— 
That they were not numerous, and that— 

But a few people could give you support; it 
tni;^lil not be very good support— they might 
give you stipi^rl by something else besides 
inon<»y> what did you mean by something 
else? — I do not know 3 1 had just asked 


31- GEORGE 111. 

Trial ofDaxid Downh 


Were your ixistructjons, as well as your 
commbslon from the cooatnitlce? — I Ihiuk 
it nienlioDed aUoul the committee; I cannot 
mention whether it was the committee or not. 
RecoJlect whether your iastructions mention 
it?— Tliey do nieDtiou it. 

They mention sometliing about a plan? — 
O, aye. 

What did it mention, about that plan ? — It 
mentioned something about that plan. 

Was it a litOc plan ? — I have answered 
that question to the lard Advocate. 

Was il a great plan, or a grand plan, or 
little plan, or what did they call it?— No par- 
ticular name -> they might speak of it, I be- 

What was that plan to clo?^It did not say 
wbat it wa% to do, 

Mr. Anntruthcr, — He has said he understood 
the plan to be tlie same plan tlat is mentioned 

What was the plan I o do?— I can tell you 
If bat Mr* Watt said it was to do. 

What did your instructions tell you? Did 
it say it was near fiai&hed, or that it was far 
1 1 from being finished? — I thiuli the word 
lȣnisbed was in it. 

Did It say any thing like it was far^ or not 
vita from being finish^?— I cannot give the 
(express words. 

Give* me the same?— It §p<>ke something 
about that plan. 

About what plan did it speak ?— It did not 
mention the plan: I said 1 supposed it might 
\ be that. 

h Now, did it say that plan was to be attend- 
ed with success, or want of success ? — I cannot 
.say things— I did not mind. 

Whom were you to give your instructions 
I to when you returned ?~Thc clerk of the 
ItCommittee of Wnys and Means when I came 
• back. 

1 think you said you were permanent prescs 
rof the collcclora ?— Yes, 

What were they to do ? — To collect money 
I i^nd sentiments. 

Were they to do any UuDg else?— To see 
' who were determined to support the burthen 
[in the cause of universal sullrugc, and annual 

To whom did your instnjctions tell you, 
[^ou were to send the juoncy ?— The instnic- 
13 saul the money wa^ to be TClurned to 
Mr, Downic. 
Did you ever hear any thing about arming? 
-Mr. Watt and I spoke about pikes two or 
tircc times, 

Wcli^ now, what wero tlic collectors to do 

vitli tliobe pikes, or had they any thing to 

00 with \.\ii\u r^ Mr. W art Jnci; -I^uwtd oie 

Otuc of t said lie r me 

omectf II ;v to ilie<' 

t>"' \l.. I did not. 

^^ ' ttrrm f— 1 Aid not 


e^iii-f*-. iu|u: 01 tiic tyilcLlOi-^ had iaid they 

At^ W^att said, take them down to the col- 
lectors, why did not you take them } — If 1 had 
taken them down to the collectors, they would 
liave been blaming me for distributing tlicm^ 
You supped with Dr. Forrest that ntght? — 

You staid with him after the company 
came awny ? — I recollect I told Dr. Forrest 
first something about that plan. 

Now, what did you tell Dr. Forrest ?•*-! 
told him what I told you. 

Did yon tell him such a nlan existed ?— 
I said I had heard it ; I had never heard it 
from any body in the committee but Mr. 
Look at that. 

Court. — What is that paper? 
Mr. Jnsirw/Aiff.— lie has read this, ** Stir* 
ling,— support by money, courage not great, 
supj)ort as yet not certain/' 

CuurL — What paper is that? — A Ibt of 
names I took with me. 

What for? — For the purpose of corre^ 

Whom were you to correspond with?— - 
With the Committee of Ways and Means. 

Were the Commitlee of Ways and Means 
to correspond with all these people ? — ( can- 
not say whether they would or no, but they 
had the particular power. 
Mr. Amtruth€r* — W^hy did you J cave a 

blank there in the first line, — dues S g 

mean Stirling?— I lett a blank. 

Because what ? — I had a list of the names, 
I did not expect any body to sec it^ but I did 
it just for fear any body should sec it. 

Dues c ge mean courage ? and why did 

you leave a blank there ? you had nut courage 
to fill it up perhaps? — Yes, but I wanted no- 
body to read It but myself. 

1 thought you said you made this up for 
the use ot the committee f — Well, btil 1 had 
it to read :— the comiuiltee did not desire me 
to write tliat about Stirling; X gave it In to 

Did you give it to him as one of the com- 
mittee ?— 1 gave it to him as one of the com- 

Mr, Cuilen, — When did you givf it to ISIr. 
Wall?— Some days after I came li ve 

him my instructions and comm - 

time after I cume home. 

Mr, Anstruihcr,—\ou were ordered to de- 
liver liiein to liif tommitkc?— Yc*. 

Did you infoi m the conmiitlee of what yeu 
had doncinyourjourncy?^! ♦ ^'' •» "ti ijiat I 
had collected ui bucli and !^, and 

they wfTf' '" '"-.u 111 lii riKHi 

You i\ > 

—I did r ^ _ ^a 

say, at btirhng the society wfid not uumerouA. 

Mr. / 


C r osft*«Kan) inati on . 

^ywheo you went in?— I 

1091 fi^ ^k^ Treason. 

hsA httn tn once or twice before^ and I just 
loU them what I have sd^d already. 

JLord rrtsident.-^l have lukcn down what 

il»tMd altoTft these in^ljut lions, in thb roan- 

ucUons were from the com- 

I he was to return them to 

ihc committer. 

II. — As I understand it, tjie in- 

mmaiou^ V ^ ^ from the comrailtee, 

^bty iron ^> L but not given by the 

DUtiltec; Li t > were therefore no fiirther 

the coramiltce than Mr. Walt gave 

\ to htm as from the committee. 

Clerk.— Me rould not swear whether 
» conmittee knew any thing about it. 

[Paper read], 

** S g, support by money— c ge not 

^tU->5 pi as yet not certain/' 

* AddnsM of a citixen in Alloa, JameSHaig^ 

I* KtmrtUne^ George Miller, shipmaster, 
"* AUotL, Robert Morrison, senior, weaver* 

' Ctieir, James BfMlveeade, merchant. 

^ Falkitky John Ueugh, merchant, corn- 

' S^ Kinians, George Brown, writer, 
^ DtOo. Hev, Mr. Cross. 
' linttUlgow, Mr* Gilson jun., merchant* 
* nit«n«f*!fninnes% William Baird, ditto, 
liltcr M*Gibboi>, uierchaot, 
:U i^, Jolm Grieve, surgeon. — 
I iicndersoD.* 
&», William Hutchinson, esq., of 

* Kklmttiilloclii Henry Frecland, weaver 
** Balbf^aSe, — infonned Linlithgow. 

* Ktocaiii Printfield, John Thompson, 
~^* Ribrlli, " ' r lc5» Vule* 

'Ptolcj, Hcming. 

manioc n, mt, iVIuir, iuu,^ merchant 
^Leveoitilef James Guruner, smithy near 

I K'ArthiiTt shoemaker, new Meet- 
6, tXjmbarton. 
^ Rodericrk G onion, engraver, near Bank- 

A. D. 1704^ 


• Tlie fiuLtHlirf is ihNiniir't. that this wit- 
^M^Fttiricv y summoned 

aliirjoliii i e, to appear 

M9* ibe MbcM i i» and being 

^Uif twoni iod 11 i m substance 

. ^ That he iiAil ng ;u,qiiaintance with 
^Jufaa Uetiderson: tliat he even did not 
m by ^' ' ' ^ a he hatl put sir 
MBt aa V, Urieve^s m this 

' ^ ""- - than the sugges- 

^t her, who had told 

, Uiiv ^*' rmi that he 

Quid not r* name who 

IbU btai 9c -.uch was the 

«4c fesaiKi had for in- 

mtmz ^U " Thepub- 

l*i denosi- 

^ M 01 pro- 

uU« Ai Liiuiburgh. Orig, Ji^, 

" Linlithgow, Adam Dawson, certain friend^l] 
but not proper o!»jt.'cl of correBpondence. • 

" Mid-Calder, John Hardie, or Thomas^ 
Twccdal. — Shott3, William Mortun, taylor. 

" Hamilton, John M'Lawn, Jamea 

" Slrathavcn, James WiLson. 

" Whitburn, George Weddel, merchant. 

" Dervil, John ("Idand. 

" Glasgow read'mg room.— Thomas Corb 
wants a few cheap books or pamphlets. 

** Mrs, Galloway ^ high street Giasgow--.Jj 
wants adoien of Loves of Liberty." 

Is timt one of the papers that were in yourj 
parcel? — Ves, that is one of the papers. 
[Paper read], 

" Fellow-citizens r — At a lime when powcr^ 
seems to be making such rapid strides among I 
us, while the friends of freedom are perse^.i 
cutcd, and hunted down on everv side, and f 
the genuine principles of the constitution rc« ] 
peatedly violated, by those who, at the time 
they are professing their attachment to it ^ 
are aiming the secret blow wlilch under- 
mines it, the friends of peace and reform ia' 
Edinburgh, call upon their brethren through- 
out the kingdom: — We call upon you to 
warn you of your danger : We would remind'! 
you iff the present melancholy stiite of aflkirs; 
our commerce diminished, our manufactureri' | 
drooping, the industrious poor wanting bread, ' 
and the mingled cries of the widow and or* 
phan assailing the ears of heaven. — ^These^ j 
are only a part of the cruel effects of this J 
most Asastrous and bloody war, the en4^ 
of which is wrapped up in a gloomy obscurity ! 
which lias scarcely onti ray of hope to pene- 
trate or illumine. 

** In the mean lime, we behold armed a$«' ^ 
sociations forming in different parts of thej 
country. — We see the partial selection of ci* 
tizcns, who arc entmsled with arms, and 
shudder in contemplating what may be the 
motive of this alarming and novel prudence, 

" Under these circumstances, what is ouf I 
resource? Citizens, there is but one thing) 
that can rescue us, a complete reform in par- 
liament. Let i^s not be awed into a servile * 
submission by any illegal artifices ; let us noli 
sink before the blast of oppression; but let 
us unite fimier than ever, and the number of ^ 
voices, that call for a redress of our grievance* 
shall yet be heard, But never let us reliii*^ 
quish this great work. 

** Remember, that till we are fairly repre- , 
sentcd, no check can ever be opposed to the 
strides of power, but we may be crushed be 
neatb its weight, like a worm beneath th«1 
foot of the passenger, J 

" In the mean lime, we sejid you a few ! 
rules, which arc drawn up for the use of our ^ 
own societies ; we recommend them to you» | 
and ltoi>e they will be equally serviceable. A , 
I ! of Union is appointed here. tQ'| 

. j.e united wishes of the several so- ' 

cieue^ ; and a sub-committee, whktv \^ c^^ 


34 GEORGE 111. 

Trial ofDatid Dmnie 


the Committee of Wiiy«4 and Mtans and as 

treasurers for the united si»cielieB» and as a 

centre of union for all friends in ScoUand. 

Througb iheir medium, direction!* and in- 

^ ctbus will be given. Ihe tnuney put 

their 4iands shall be accoiinled lor, itnd 

Jbbursed in such a way as shall be most t«l- 

tilated to promote our greitt lausa. If, 

bereforc, vou h;ive any sums, collected, be* 

ad wi^al your immediate ejiigcncies require, 

if yau can culled any among your friends, 

though they s.hould not be rociubers of stj- 

aetjcs, you arc requested to leroil the same 

_jD Mr* Edinburgh, who 

"la appointed to receive the several sums for 

the comnjiltee. 

" We would also wish to be informed of 
the number of friends which you have, on 
who«e patriotism you can rely with the most 
imolidt coufidence, and who, you are &ure, 
will spare no exertion whatever in pronioling 
the great cause in which we are engaged. 

" We would thank you to communicate the 
best method of making our mutual senti- 
nieols known to each other, and the per- 
son to whom our letters may be addressed 
with the greatest safety — Direct your letters, 
as above, for Mr. : we 

beg for an answer with all convenient speed, 
and remain, your brethren and fellow«>ci- 
tizensi the Committee of W. and M, 

Lord vlrf«<K'afe.— There are only one or two 

aragraphs we mean to trouble Uie Court 


WUncit. — There are some blanks in that 

aper that were not filled up in the paper that 

! took, 

Mr. Amtruthtr- — Whom did your instruc- 
tions desire the money to be sent lo?---My 
instructions desired the money to be sent 
» Mr. Downie? — The blanks were not filled 
lipp in the instructions. 

Is that one of the papers in your parcel ? — I 

[Paper read.] 


' vt 'I lv« Cfim , of U. IS composed uf per- 
by the people » lo look alter 
i t ; nil ate consequently amenable 

f I to the people; therefore the 

\f, power gf deposing, by m««ns 

»* petition to the president of the Com, of U,, 
in a by him reported lo the societicn, for mi^j- 
Dliduct in any of their representatives. 
" Sd, As representatives ol the Com. 
JV, are invested with every nower ttieir ton- 
tituents c:in claim, the will of the cortsli- 
u«nl, at the appuinlinent of ^ 
in, that ne walch over l>i 
sb- -■ - - --v. ^ 

^nd liim/' 

Lofd Advooatt,*^Go to the collectors. 

" 1*1, Eadi society sliall appoint one or 
more persons, the most ^ictive and riitelh^ent, 
to Ikc collector! of money, and each of tlie&e 
colleclor-i are to have the superintendcncy of 
15 or 'iO persi*ns whom they are enjoined to 
visit, as oft as tlieir time may allow : what 
money they may collect is to be delivered to 
the treasurer of their di^erent societies every 

** 2d, Such collectors arc pcmianent, 
unless disqualified by inattention - r*' rr- 
wise; they arc to meet with the * 
and M. to report progress once c-v. r Mue« 

" 5th, OfUiC Ejcient of Delegation, 

" 1st, Election of delegates to Ilie Coon, of 
U. takes place on the first 1 hurs<iay of Febrii- 
ary. May, August, and November, rinmiaHy.* 

** 5d, Each society shall send a ar 

every 12 members, to the Cum mitt'- tU 

a lellcr signed by the president and the secre- 
tary for the time bein^. liow soon an addi- 
tion of 12 is mudc to aiiv society, ihal societj 
is entitled to send an additional delegate, fiut 
no society, however numerous, can send 
more tham three representatives. 

** Sd, The powers of such representatives 
slvall continue only for S months, at which 
period they must either be rcHticctcd,or others 
chosen in tlieir room. 

" XVI. 

*' Isl, The societies shall adopt such regula- 
tions, and adhere to such instructions as the 
Com. of W. and M. may think proper to bsue, 
after being sanctioned by the Com, of V, 

** ^f\, NO member shall introduce religious 
lop' hate, no motion fi>r prayers to 

be r at the gathering or dismissioo 

of ttic societies; because every thiuij that 
tends to strife mod division must be avoided. 

*' Lattfi relative to the Com. of U* 

** 1st, The Com. of U. shall meet once« 
week, imd elect a president every meeting, ac- 
cording as their names stand in the roll ; no 
member is to absent himself^ without aaiigiK 
ing satisfactory reasons. 
•* «d. The secretary simll continue in office 
3 months, during which period he has the 
keeping of the books. 

** 3d, It shall be eliqibie in tiny person, 
properly del ecated, fro I • ^Qt 

Kingdoms, to oe a men 1 1 r ; 

but no foreigner can b" 

"4th, No dele^i*^ I another in 

. hen he is prevent* <i from irt^taod- 

*' -- ' • ' nod «»erretary arc 
T rr j>ard the pre* 

to cxpkmto. 

^eak in the 
-jn«^ iini 



JfoT High Trcosm* 

^ to be read by the secretary at 
soon a«i the pr»f'%3dcnl takes 
vl eiE;ht 
of the 

of the 

c^ j, aiiu tne order of 

•" of \V. M. must report 

,, inowcd to accuse, or 

ions on another, 

grill the soekUies, 

jiMlimg the ^ronnda of his 

torn, of Ways and M, ; aud 

jrjiwrt to the Com. of U, if, upon 

b»o, thty see siifificienl reasons as- 

' ICHh, Thf name of ihe accuser is not to 

' the Com. of W. and M. 

jt ajcrusation worlJiy of 

' ■SV, 

\ condesceosioD, 

HtuiiuT, must prevail, 

ngst the members of the Com, 

iti.r^t '>li iV,o ^ocietits. 

' l$* inaiiimily ofsoul, 

Hidicd, arid every 

Ki "ft prudent maimer^ to 

,-ilnuneiital in forwards 

t ibc ; for independent ^nd 

iionour and preference 

r wtiMth€ to ihe Citm, qf \\\ and M, 

*■ Ul, The Committee of Wnys and Means 

npcnu: ' ' of it have the 

more of its 


iLi d][\i iLj^ttentioo. 
lie nomination to anjr | 
*** i.^.ii ^.^Li body; also a dii^cre- 
|iQWcr to meet where and when they 

consist of no more than 
ihrin four persons. 

ut and secretary of the 

. J ne the money transac- 

oT llie Com. of W, and M. once every 

No cross* examin&tioQ. 
Dr. Forrett sworn. 
Lar^ Adpxain, — Do you know n man of 
Ibe ntsoe of John Fjiirley? — Yes. 
Whca dill you sec him fir!>i ?— Some time in 


Wlietc did you sec him ?— At StirUtig. 
HAdjoy rvct known thai man before? — 
tSu^ guy Uf^. 

H^if cAoic be lo introduce him&cif to you f 
-De jaid a TbomaA Bell desired him to call 
hiisu * 

Yoci iPCTf of Uie s<x:ieiy ? — Tes. 

As*! tchrr :Tieci ? — In my house. 

r the members of 


jr story to the 
, on thai oc- 
Ifttriey commuAicaie to you any 

parliculaf business or circumstances ?— Hie i 
told us he was sent by the committee in j 
Edinburgh j to endeavour to procure money] 
for the support of Mrs. Skirving, and som^i 
otlier friends of reform, .ind to know what 
were our sentiments about reform. 

To know what were your sentiments ?—v 
He showed us a written paper to that purports I 
I cannot recollect that paper at present to b^ I 
nolliing, but what I recollected before, thai I 
there were to be collectors for 14 or 15^ to' 
collect the opinion of that 14, to know theiH 
sentiments, and to procure the money, I un-i 
derstaod, and there was a part of the inslruc»] 
tions they mentioned, they were to be pro-' 
vided with — and a blank followed that; to b^ 
provided with blank, 

Now, 1 asic, what did you understand by . 
that provided with, and that black? What 
did you understand at the tune?— If I might j 
gues^ nr conjecture, — being armed. I 

Did you or any person give any answer aC j 
the time, or take any notice of those instruc- ] 
tions to that effect ?^l think I said, he shouI<l ] 
he cautious how he conducted himself, and 
what lie <iatd ; for our parts, we had nc^ \ 
thouglUa of proceeding farther ; in wliat w^ 
h;id done, we had expressed our thought^ j 
to the public, or somethm^ to thut purpose. . | 

Yon say you concluded the blank mean^| 
arms ; — now, 1 ask yon, was there any othec 
circumstance which passed between you and . 
this man Fairley, relative to this conjecture j 
of yours, which tended to confirm or disprove i 
that conjecture ? — 1 do not remember par- 
ticularly, but sometliing was mentioned of ai^ 
expected invasion by the French, and he took ^ 
a piece of paper and a pencil, and drew a 
figure resembliog a halberd. 

Do you see any thing upon the table like ] 
it?— Yes, my lord, it was something hke ihat^J 

He asked how that would answer for de^'f 
fence? — Yes. 

Did he say any ihiHg more upon that sub^l 
ject? — Yes, I do not recollect what followe^^i 
upon that ; there was nothing that I recollect, I 

Do you recollect any thing else of his givj j 
in^ you any other information with respect taf 
what was aping on at Edinburgh ?^He men- j 
tioncd, I think, that he knew u pcrs^ou that 
could provide such, and I think he mcntionedr I 
the number, but I cannot put s name upon it^ ] 

Did he mention where this person resided j 
that was to furnish these things ?— No, I d%^ j 
not recollect, but the idea struck me. 

Did this pass after your friends left you, or 
were with you f— To the best of my know- 
ledge while they were there. 

Did he stay after they left you?— He staid*] 
and slept there all ni^hl. 

Was there any Ihmg else that passed be- 
tween you and him, that struck you at thi^J 
time as extraordinary as to what was to be done 1 
in Edinburgh ?— There was something B^^d^l 
about the collectors. ^ )] 

Did that paper of inatnictions mention any 
thing with respect to any plan or sclwwe 




$i GEORGE nr. 

ivbkh struck you ?^ — Unless it was those col- 
lectors that were to iittcDd, and to know their 
sen li merits — 

What besides tlial?— I cannot recollect 
just now. 

Was there anv thing said by Fairley you 
thought it your cluty to check him in ?— I do 
cot remember. 

Was there any thing about violent roea- 
»iirc8 about lo be prottoscd in Edioburdi ? — 
I t}nnk he s^aid, that some people in tldin- 
Diirgh, would probiibly repent of their con- 

^N hat people ? Was it the Friends of the 
People ? — No, I did not suppose that 

NVho did you suppose tliera? — I supposed 
, it was their upponcnts. 

He left you some printed papers? — Yes. 
What became of Ihosie priuted papers? — 1 
[gave, to the best of my knowledge, a copy of 
a letter of rcgidalions and rules lo 
' and my friends burnt the res-t 

When did they bum the rest ? was it before 
^ or since the warrant sent for you to Stirling? 
I - — Yes, in cun^cijuence of that warrant. 

Mf. Jmtruthcr. — Now, before you go, only 
do recollect yourself, and tell rae whether 
I there was no conversation between you and 
I Fairley, alter the company went away, more 
k than w!ial you have staled ? — No, I do not 
TccoUect ; it was verj' near midnight, and I 
; vent to bed very soon. 

Now, 1 only ask you» do you swear that you 

pTecollect no more of tiie conversation with 

[ Jairlcy, than you have now stated ?--I can 

very s;ifely do it 4I present; several things 

may have escaped nie, Uiat, by helping my 

rccoUection, I might answer 

Joseph Gurnall sworn. 

In what employment are you ?— A king's 

Pray do you know a Thomas Hardy in 
I London? — Yes, my lord. 

Were you ever employed in searching his 
t house ? — Yes, in consequence of a warrant 
I from the secretary of state, jointly with Mr, 
rXftuzun, I was to search his house, and seize 
I hh papers. 

Now, sir, did you see any of Hardy's pa- 

ftns ? — In the bureau of Haidy's house, I saw 
lardy *s papers. 1 found that letter in his 

Yben ?— In the morning of the 15th of 

Alexander Mdchell sworn. 

hard Advocuic—^lt. Mitchell, where do 
[you commonly hve? — In Stirling. 
( Were yuu 'living llierc in the month of 
L April lait ?— Vcs, I was. 

Wa«v there any Mjeicty of the Friends of the 
T ' " .1 was tt member of it. 

'tary of it ?— I never act- 
I tu vi *' . rly^ but as ie- 

Wii*** .'VT I - u -ifc^ii f— liilmariiocki 

Trial o/David D&mie [] 16 

Gawstone, Newmills, Darwell, and Strat- 

Do you know a man of the name of Tho- 
mas Hardy? — He is designed a shoemaker. 

Has he any other situation ? — He is secre- 
tary' of a Corresponding Society in London, 

Did you, or your society^ or any of tliese 
societies, receive in April la^t, or in the course 
of this year, any letter from this Mr. Hardy > 
— Yes, a letter for the society in Stralhaven. 

What was the purport of that letter? — A 
principal p.u-t of it was, announcing a proposal 
for another British Convention, 

Would you know the letter if you saw it? 
is that like the letter ? — Yes, I thtidc it bears 
every resemblance of that letter. 

Now, sir, did your societies do any thing in 
consecjuencc of lliat letter to your knowledge? 
— Yes, there was a meeting of the United 
societies, as I mentioned betore, at DarweU^ 
on the receipt of that letter. 

Wliai did you do ? — The consideration was, 
if it was proper to send a delegate to that 
convention, and it was agreed there should 
be one sent. 

Did thai society do any thing else inconse- 
quence of that? — There was one appointed to 
be veady to be sent against the time it should 
be called. 

Did they write so to Hardy, and give him 
anv information of it ? — Ye^, they £^ 

Did they write them ?— Yes, 

Who wrote the answer? — It weni in my 

Did you write it ?— Yes. 

Look at that letter, and see if you wrote 
that answer lo Hardy; is that your hand* 
writing f — ^c^ I recognise it lo be the same 
from all I can judge* 

What was the name of the gentleman yoit 
chose to be delegate of the society that was to 
be held in readiness ? — I do not conceive it, 
would be of any direct use to the Court, or I 
would mention it ; it might be a cause of 
trouble to the gentleman. 

You are bound to mention iL What was 
bis name ?— James Wilson of Strathaven. 

Lord Advocate. — ^This letter is found by 
Gurnall, 13th May last, in this rentlemaa^s 
hand-wnting, This letter is of tne date thai 
Mr« Gurnall speaks to. 


" Fellow citizens ;— The society at Stratha- 
ven received your circular letter bome time 
ago, respecting another British Convenlioo to 
be held in England, and finding it would be 
inconvenient for them lo send a delegate for 
tiicniselves alone, the cause being much sup- 
pressed here by prosecutions, whi^h we aro 
Bubjected to from the petty ahi ' iir 

neighbourhood, we havr united on ; i h 

ihr in Ivilmai: ' ' v. 

mil rwalL A' 115, 

of' . .u._ ,jj 

81; ^U 

Jut Higft Treason, 

j;alr was elected fur the 
vutl a secret comtJiiltee 
ed U> coiiduci lUe business* You will 
farward your orders to tis, when, 
»j,i. ' : ' Jilion is to meet, with 

a ; ur informalioD you may 

^ ^ t '^ hall instruct our dele- 
M I r - ^ r 1 1 J 1 , 4 i [ 1 L HI! iber and strength of 
: KKiciu >, -iudarc huj^^py to fraternize with 
jnu in any thifig thai ma;^ tend to promote the 
pMnl good. — VVe remain yours, in the cause 
oTlilbertjr^ f<»r th<! United Societies a^s above, 
"Alex. Mitciull, sec. 
, 9th Aprils llOiJ' 

i per post, and Addressed thus^ 

, T, Hardy^ shoemaker, No, % Piccadilly 

Walter Miller sworn. 

^ Adt>ocittt, — ^Vou live In Perth, do not 

l}id jrot] erer hear or know of a man ealkd 
fltoows llttf dy }—l have heard of such a 

X\\A *ji-iM £>vfT rrrf iv^ nny letters fromhini ? 

, but I got a 

ju by way of Edm- 

\ it Uw»g before the ehcriif of Perth took 
7DI up^ tod asked some questions ? — It was 
BOC lODg, 1 cznoot say the time. 

l/xk ai that lelier>— Yes. 

Loek at tt, ami see if it is the same?— I 
Isn J^ to look at it any more, when 

Be s 'it that, and sec if you 

€*€f la -Ycb, 1 saw that loo. 

I David Downic?^ — Yes, 
vou? — Ycsj certainly I 
'-'"d in mv possession 
ilk oi it, 
- iij Itller, *' we pro- 
to »enii one published by the Courier, 
Ibe plc2i*cd to send us a parcel with your 

Wlttt soft of address was it ?— It was pam- 
Wbal vt^ of pamphlets ?— Political Pam^ 

WbAt rnphlets ?— I do not know ; 

Wa9 ther^ 

A. D, I79i* 


Iter, a small 

■I I J, V. ji,i tliis parcel? — 
IcUcr, whether it came 

I was it ? — It 
I- caikd the 
t of that let- 

, I :< a 
tlii4t Mi;k« ;^ tiling highly pru(ier 

n Hardy, did 
ucc of it?— 

Wliatwere those steps?— Tlic comtnitle 
considered it, 

And what did they consider ? — Why, if it" 
was a measure resolved upi*n by the olhej* 
parties of the kingdom ^ they were to adhere 
to it. 

What do they mean by that?— The purport 
of it was, they were to send delegates upon 
due determination, which they could not tell 
without consideration afterwards. 

They were to send delegates to this conven- 
tion ? — Yes. 

Ix>ok at that letter, and see if it is like that ? 
— I could not say really ; there was a copy of 
that letter seiietl iu Perth ; I know that it was 
directed to me. 

What was the size of it ? — I do not recol- 
lect the size, 

Mr. CUrk, — Do you remember the tin 
when Mr. Watt and Mr. Downie were seize 
and imprisoned ?— I may remember that ver 
well; a few days after that I was apprehend 
od myself, and have lain in ^aol ever §ince. 

Had you any notice from Mr. Walt, orMc 
Downie of such a proposal as limt ? — I ; 
very certain there was no proposal of tha£ 
kind. I ^vas a member of all the committees 
at that tune existing in Perth. 

And ^*cru never heard a single word ahou 
arms, — ^3 or 4,000 ?— No never till yesterday 
night, when I saw it in the newspaper. 

Vou said ^'ou were a member of the society! 
— Yes, certainly so. 

Are you a member yet?— I cannot be a 
member while I am in prison. 

Did not you cease to be a member of thatl 
committee ?-*-Yes. 

Why ?— For some diflTerencc in that society,^ 

What was it ?— 1 suppose^it is not connectc ' 
with this cause. 

CViirf.— We cannot tell till we hear it, i 
may be materia! or not. — If the iCourt will ob* 
lige me, I will ; but I wUl not enter iutobu-* 
siness abstract from the cause j it ib not con- 
nected with the cause. 

iri/rt«i.— My lordsj, if you have no more 
occasion for me on this trial, I think I have i 
right 10 my liberty now, 

Xj&rd Advocate. — ^The witness is taken itp 
«nd iraprisonedunder a warrant for trr asonable^ 
practices, by an act of last sessions of pirlia* 
ment, suspending the act of 170 1. UisnotJ 
in the powerofyouc lordship to liberate hiiu,. 
without an order signed by 6 at icjist of the 
privy council. 

U^fnew. — I beg leave to be he^rd a few 
words — 1 1 is in my knowledge that I was 
tnkcn up in a most illegal manner, by a war- 
rant from the sheriff: I have been detained 
here three months under extraordinary cir- 
cumstances, and have received the worst of, 
treatment; last night wliea I went hom that 
bar, I meijlioned tu your lordsliip my ajiptar 
iug under harticular circumstance*, tiiid bcinj 
so long a prisoner^ and luvujg met with Mici 
•cvere treatment, it might be Uiouglit I w.i 
come here at the expence of ihl^ V4atV^\il< 


> save my own self. I was cletermined to re- 
tire eivrng evidence, aiid staled my objection; 
ny lord advocate fold me I w;is not to be 
brotiglit to trial, I know I am enlHIed to niy 
Lord Praident — What you have remjired 
ft"' ^ ' ;rt we cannot do ; there must be an 
I to the privy council, and upon 
itir.ii ityyur-xmo, his majcsty*s advocate may 
fhc heard a£jauj&t it. Tim court can do nothing 
in the Ijubiness one way or another. The law 
is open to you, if yoti have been oppressed. 
'Xhis is not the way it can be dune; the 
|Court bas nothing \o do with it in this shape. 
WUtifts.-^l asK one question ; is it not the 
ated law of the country, that when a person 
|js once admitted a witness, he is free from 
"hat criminal charge; can 1 he freed from all 
riminalily ? 

Lord President. — Apply to your counsel 

Ifor advice. All this is quite irregular. The 

I Court canuot hold any more conversation with 

jfou upon that subject. 

Lard Advocate. — We have done for the pro- 


Mr. Cullen, — I wish to trouble the lord 

_ldvocale to csplaiu something concerning a 

■tTftUsaclion tluit passed between him and 

IJr. Watt; 1 wish the Jury may sec what 

Uie description and character of Mr. Watt 


Mr Amiruther^ — I am totally at a los« to 
understand how the character of Mr, Watt 
an be made evidence on Mr. Downie's trial, 
pl»ut still I have not the smallest objection 
^ > your cxamimng the lord advocate. 

Mr. CulUn. — I wish your lordshin to give 
account of the transLiclions anu commu* 
dcations your lordship had with Mr. W^att, 
eptrding the subject of intended riots, or 
NTith regard to any thin* of the like kind ? 

Lord Advocatt,—\n October 1792, Mr. Sc- 
reiary Dundas was in the country ; at that 
lime tlicre was a very general alarm, it was 
mmeftiatf Iv hf fjrr tlu i.arliament was called ; 
^»d ! , cl out upon rumours 

&fnu I nous disturbances in 

cieui piifis oi till? country. Mr. Dundas 
' ^cvrral t'oiiverf.ationfl with me, the soli- 
M' I k1 with Mr. Pringle, the shcrift*, 

\h icfl that a person had wrote to 

'oi'ure, stilting to him 
I number of people 

rt;Ut:u 111 i-jjuiiii: * , 1 ,^ ;- 

lificfoijs conspiracy \ 

ll)uudas, thereJore, .- 

labout this man, to see u 

||i<^wa*«: Mr. Prin^lc,lh< 
juiry, am! I rcmcijUier si 

Jmbout the beginning of >.^ 

tbe rouuiry, Mr, Tringic tola me lie had 
nndc rnqn'Tv, I tif Iil'vc of Mr* H.ilfour the 
y of our inquiry was 

i '} confulf' ill htm *,o 

Lpu bj ecu W he n I c;i 

lie aamtUtucs came iq m; uou^c m Kjmi^^'^ 

Trial qf David Dcfmnie [ 190 

square, and mentioned some things that were 
^in^ on, and gave me the names of certain 
mdjviduals. He likewise went to the North 
of Scotland, and wrote from Dundee and 
Forfar, stating the situaliou of that part of the 
counlr>% When I saw him he ^ve me some 
accouuts, which he said he hacTreceived dur- 
ing his journey, particularly some he had 
received fn Fifeshire, or Forlar, about a parly 
of soldiers from Chatham, whom he repre- 
sented as having been seduced from Incir 
duty* lliis appeared to me material. He 
said those soluiers were at Perth, and after 
!>ome correspondence, they were found there ; 
lort! Adam Gordon ordered them to come to 
Ediuburgh ; when I was informed they were 
arrived, 1 went down to the Abbey, and cjca- 
mined them all separately, in lord Adaih's 
presence; and his lordship's opinion, and mine 
was, that the information given by Walt re- 
specting them was not founded. The soldiers^ 
at lea**t, denied every thing which had been 
imputed to them, by the persons from whom 
Watt said he had received the information, 
and it rcslcd on the credit to be given to the 
opposite accotmts. There the matter dropped^ 
and I gave it no more at tent ion* He Came 
altcrvviirds occasionally during the winter, and 
communiciUt'd lomc several particulars of the 
procccdiugftuf those clubs and societies, which 
were tlien meeting in Edinburgh ; somcoflliese 
persons were then tried betore the court of 

Jt appeared to me, that the persons I had 
heard of that composed tbose clubs were, vk 
number of them, m a very low situation in 
life ; and there was clearly more money going 
amongst them than could, as it appeared Iq 
me, spring frum their own labour ; I suspected 
it might tome from London, or perhaps frcflo 
France, and 1 de&ired him to inquire parllcu** 
larly into that circumstance. Some time after 
this, he wrote to me in Loii<l' i' »K.t q^o or 
two pcrnons knew somethiij which 

they otTcrcd to divulge, provu : . , ^tt)could 
give them a large sum of money about a thou- 
sand pounds, or some such large bumofmoo^v. 
I wrote him in reply, that I could not comply 
with such a proposition, but 1 afterwards paid 
him 30/., as he said he had accepted a bill m 
iavour of one of those men for that sum* t 
wfi V clerk to pay tt, and it wa$ paid 

at In the month of May, or In the 

cuur e <ii MIC summer, he wiotc to me in re- 
gard to some provision for himself, which did 
not succeed ; and so far as I can charge tny 
own memory with il, I never saw or ucikrd 

frnin l.Mii sliui* Ink M<\'A ~\{\\u fi.lili^cf fyf 

^ , jni 

liim when 1 wtw at tin ^e, 

last September, it wo\i I to 

me thai I did « I was tticie Uit^ Ultt^r end of 
Sfpfrinhfr: I hiire t'ndi'Mvmffrd to recollect 

niol recollect 

; but I tua 

ccUiUu iiucu Utlwl/t:r UhL i ncvtjr saw or 

\at] for High Trtmoiu 

L of him* The next time I heard of him 

n !Kr meeliTT: of the StLret committie of 

^ 1 1 urns, when Mr. Secretary 

-i«<i to ua ihc discoveries 

I had heard heforc 

rsioa of the Britisii 

I Watt had appeared, 

Bui it never en- 

uj was Uie man. 1 

cqufitlence in hini» 

him with any thing. 

ruck when I heard 

- wa.'i the man who 

I given Mr. Dundasaud roe 

M* ntJemcn of ihe Jury;— 

kTbc l] tat I had been suggested 

Mr^ L>;iiuiit:. and appointed by the Court 

be ocie of his counsel, I felt myself under 

bt tu ' J lid* so unavoidable when 

.*i. *k^ V fence of a pri- 

I li been always 

,.-.^.,. v...«* ;ur a number of 

ive as far as in my power, de- 

^ iht' rniT^lovment. 

lArly distressed 
I useil was atrial 
^_itlt«* Liw ui auoUicr cuunlry, with which I 
Bjielf, havr little or no acquaintance. It was a 

■^ 1 I»l or ''^8 ^ ****^ '*'^* ^"* *"^" 

J tc . - o? the law of England, 

wbkL I am, if possible^ still less ac- 

iTC pa ' I \ did I feelthesedi/riculties 
ufTji \ whcx) I understood that 

fi^"^: ' :iashed as they 

!rUi' Hies, had found 

-^* ""'thercoua- 

ition and 

__ ... ^ — .., „. .Jerlogive 

»lAi»taJice \u the conducUng of thei^e 

ciili<*in, 1 wbh ll\at the situation of 

Le persons whohavebecn now 

I, hul brrn cuch, as to enable 

c si- 


f lilUiir Aide. Uul uiih;ijk|>slv, liidi vwi!* far 

I ihetr rc:ich, and they wrrri obliged to 

luen whom 


«-!»■• h which t 

L aiyael I upon my 

' it'a lo shrink 

Ikw: i have ii»' 

m i ' I" > I \ 

rta axi 


'it xiot re* 

,i1<'r lu an 

-.d it 

"4^115; iiiu^i^i^^^ 4^i aij lU'ukj^'igiul duty, la 

A, D. nD4. [122 

give that aid to persons un' ircura* 

stances; and it was from tli' rations 

that I yielded to ihe solicitaliun^ot Uie prison- 
er at tbe bar, and agreed to assist him to lliu 
best of my power. 

If any ihmg could have added to the anx- 
iety of my ramd, it was what t came to learn 
of the character and situation of this poor 
man, whom 1 never had seen, nor knew any 
thing about, before 1 was appointed one of his 
counsuL A man, advanced in years, in the 
decline of life, with old age coming fast upon 
him. A man, in a creditable situation, and 
who for many years has been a member of one 
of the most respectable incorporations of this 
city, with a character perfectly unblemished 
and unun peached. Add to all this, his hav- 
ing a wife and lamdy of children; and I 
could not help ihinkiug strange, nay incredi- 
ble, that a person of such a description, at a 
|>criod of life when innovations ajid commo- 
tions wi:re surely no object to him, could be 
guilty of high treason, and enter into schemes 
for the overthrow of th ;^ - iment under 

tijc protection of whi< ; his fasmly 

were enjoyinfr peace aiw -....^y. 

The more Uiat thei?e ihmgs have made me 
believe him guiltless of any such wUd and 
criminal designs, the greater has my desire 
become, to do justice to his defence; and, un- 
der all this anxiety, I much fear, my inability 
to discharge my duty properly. I will, how- 
ever, endeavour to do my utmost i and as^ know 
the justice and candour of the Court before 
which i have the lionour to plead, so I know 
also the integrity, the attention, and the hu- 
manity of the jury whom I address, and that 
ihey will not only pardon, but amply si^pply 
any defects of mine. 

Gentlemen, what is now brought before 
vou is a charge against the prisoner at the 
bar for Uie crime of hieh treason, and you all 
know that it is by the Taw of England he \b 
to be tried. At the time of the treaty of 
Union, as was very properly staled tliis mor- 
ning by fhc lord advocate, it wan judged ex- 
pedient, and it certainly was so, that with re&t 
peel to a crime of this nature, the law of the 
two countries should be put upon tlie same 
fuoting ; and, accordingly, it was agreed and 
determmed, tbat the law of England should^ 
as to treason, be made th# law of Scotland. 
In consetjuence of this, soon alter tbe period 
of the Union, an act of parliament w;is passed 
in the 7th of queen Anne, by whicli it was 
pp.viHi r7 tL tr Ti. linii^ < iiiTiing, such crimes 
aii trcahon or mis- 

,,< I in England, shall 

irned, adjudi;cd tiud taken to be high • 
1 .md misprisiun of high treason witlim 
Scutjand. \n short, the law of treason in 
Engluud was made Ulc law which lit that par* 
ticuTac wa» tfi govcru ikotiand ia time to 

r , ' \ ' ilemcn, i\ " 

a iidcnce iij 

ob J > V 1 i *yuii Luc dalUTQ til \Xyif>, iiV 


a UuiiiW^J 

183J 34 GEORGE III. 

Df treason in England, because, as I have a!* 
sady said, the taw of England is what I am 
ery little acquainted witn. I have endca- 
ured, however, since I had the honour of 
ibeing appointed counsel in this case, to con- 
itder ana peruse, with all the alien tion in my 
K>wer, the books of the law of England with 
egard to treason ; and although 1 shall not 
trouble you wilh long quotations, nor with 
reading many ptissagcs from diflerent books, I 
shall t;ikc the liberty of stating some remarks 
wilh respect to what I conceive to l)c the law 
of treason, as Air as it can affect the case now 
under consideration. 

Gentlemen, the great law wilh regard lo 
bigb treason in England, is the well-known 
statute of the '25th of Edward 3rd; and that 
act of parliament w*as passed tor the very pur- 
pose of defining and rendering the nature of 
the crime of treason precise and certain. It 
is mentioned by all the different writers upon 
the law of Ei^glandt that, anterior lo the pe- 
riod of Edward 3rd, the law respecting treason 
had been so tmscltled, and undefined, tliat 
trequcntlv crimes of a much lesser degree of 
guilt, hatS, notwithstanding, been accounted 
treason. In order to prevent this, the statute of 
Edwartl 3rd was passed, proceeding upon a pe- 
tition from the Lords and Commons, the mode 
in which acts of parliament nin at that period; 
and llie act itself declares what offences shall 
in time coming be adjudged treason. 

There are only Iwo branches of this statute, 
which it is in any degree material for me to 
bring particularly imder your view, Tlie first 
thing that it declares to be high treason is, 
the compassing or imaginin* the death of the 
king. The statute itself, like the others of 
that period, was wTilten in the French lan- 
guage, and the words arc ** compaser, ou 
ymagincf la mort nostre seigneur le roy/' 
It is perhaps singular, as has been well Vc- 
marked by an ingenious writer, that the life 
of every British subjert prosecuted by the 
crown for treason should continue to depend 
upon tlie critical construction of two obsolete 
French uonls. 

Another species of treason declared in this 
act is> the levying war agamst the king ; and 
the sUitute provides, that when a man doth 
compnss or imagine the death of the king, or 
fioth levy war against the king, and thereof 
ht proveablementt tlmt is upon sufficient proof 
attainted of open deed, he shall be adjudged 
guilty of treason. These are the only two 
sjtedes ol treason to which I fmd it at all ne- 
cesagry to call your attention « Indeed the 
♦ h. .., ;, xhi\ upon which the present 

> n1i*crre, that the very dc- 

I is statute was, to prevent 

. :r> to what was trea- 

i^ in time coming 

was to be adjudged 

Ji the statute had ac- 

fined to be such* A nd 

:: : Lj.(;ccdlxigly £rt»m those who 

Trial of David Dawnie 


think that it was meant to leave lo judi- 
cial power, lo enlarge by constniction, what 
should be held treason j for 1 take it, that this 
is directly opposite to what the statute had in 
view. It explicitly declares and specifies 
what should be held high treason, and that 
nothing else should be considerea as such, 
and it very anxiously and specially provides, 
that if any other case, supposed treason, 
which is not specified in the act, shall happen 
to occur, the judees shall not hold it to be 
treason, till the kmgand his parhamtnt shall 
declare whether it ought to be judged treason 
or other felony. Thus careful wab the legis- 
lature to render the law of treason fijied and 
certain, and to provide that it should only be 
in the power of parliament itself, to extend 
the law, and bring under that description, any 
other offence, which this act had cot declared 
to be such. 

In the weak and unfortunate reigtt of his 
successor, lUchard 2nd, many different acts of 
parliament were passed, declaring a variety of 
offences to be treason, which were not such 
by the statute of Edward 3rd ; but all these 
were repealed and taken away in the bcgi 
ningof the reign of Henry "ith, by an 
which set forth, that no man knew how 
behave himself, to do, speak, or say, for dotdil 
of such pains of treason: and therefore de- 
clared, that in time cominr, nothing should 
be he!d treason, otherways tlian was ordained, 
by the statute of Edw*ird 3rd. Notwitljstand- 
in^ this, it so happened, that in succeeding 
arbitrary and tyrannical reigns, and particu- 
larly in that of Henry 8th a great variety of 
offences were most improperly declared to " 
treason, although they could not, with I 
least shadow of reason, come under that de- 
nomination. But all these were soon aftci 
completely abrogated by the statute of th< 
lit of queen Mary, which again brought bad 
the law of treason to the footing upon which 
it stood by the 35th of Edward 3rd. 

I mention these things, gentlemen, in order 
to show you, that the great object of the 
legislature' has always been, to leave as htU^ 
as possible to interpretation and constructioi 
ana to keep as defined and as clear as niighl 
be, what should be held high treason ; so thai 
the subject might have a certain rule whcrchj|^ 
to square his actions, and to protect him iwm' 
arbitrary prosecutions for treason, when in 
fact no such crime had been rommitlcd. 

Posterior to the act of queen Mary, which 
I have just now mentioned, *>ome new 
K»ns were created by statute, but they hav| 
been chiefly of a lcmiK)rary nature. Ther 
were some in the rcigti ol Elizabeth, and 

ill tlif rri'Ti ttj' Cliiirlr^ V'lul liHJ \\it'\ v\\\Uv 

CUM I M iti the \i\ui 

iriou nd I hope find 

trust will ii>n^ "vcr Ihesi 

kmgdomii. Ti 1 noi 

lude, however, du uul iu the least 


Jhr High Treasojh 

loQcU vSKOk Uie present question ; so th^l, in 
iImiI, the shj^]i' and onJy statute which is to 
icrenrtiri ti^ nnd explaining what 

ia lo te hi:i L:ison, is that of the 25th 

Tlierc U a ftCatule, Indeed, of great conse- 
ouciKc. wh' ' d some ye^s after 

tMluspy J 1G&8, I mean the 

■ctof Uw r Lii ui ^.v iiuaiu 3rdr for regulating 
oi Irtalfl to cases of treason. 

0eaide$ other salutary regulations which 
Ite ilalulc iutrtxluced^ it provided, that no 
feaoa shodd be indicted, tried, or attainted 
cf tmaoOy but upon the oaths of two lawful 
Wflaesses* either both to the same overt act^ 
«r ooe of then] to one, and another to another 
ctof the same treason* It farther pro- 
d, Ihil if two ur more distinct treasons of 
Hi kinds should be charged^ one wit* 
aeift lo prore one of them^ and another wit- 
wmmva prov« another of the said treasons, 
ibould r * *" 'eld two witnesses to the same 
txami Ue meannig of the act And 

A dlkti iMi . II if the act was, that no evi- 
teee «radl I : ' r i : tied or civen of any overt 
act, Ih^ wa^ uuX i..\prcs6ly laid in the indict* 
metiL These are some of the important re- 
pililion^ eatablished by this excellent statute; 
aod them will be occasion for you to give 
•Qoe attention to them tn considering the evi- 
doKe wiiich has been adduced against the 
frmoftt at the bar 

Bjfiiig ihns endeavoured lo give vou a 
ticw df the statute law upon this subject, I 
; o&w otxsene to you, gentlemen, that the 
iodklmciit cliargca the iirisoner with 
Cbe fint ipecies of treason, which h that of 
CMfittioe or imagining the death of the 
Idi^ too it will be with you to consider, 
vlNuer the overt acts that are laid, amount 
UfkA cnmt. 
If ii oat indeed pretended by the prose - 
tii'it lit tAii L'-slihliHli agaui&t the pri* 
or imagining Uie 
4aih M ile to the terras of 

fbc stAtAitc; but ywu aic told, that there is 
hmmn in law, wliat is called constructive 
iM&iooi, or, in other words, a treason not to 
ie jboad m fUe l**U«*r of the law, but raised 

'Ation. Thus, 

IS one of the 

Ml III* M itstte of Edward 

conspiracy to levy war, 

.11. ".vied, is not; and, 

conspiracy, it has 

i not falling under 

the first branch of 

A or imagining the 

res of constructive 

iargcd against 

L to construc- 

t beg leave to 

it i* of a dan- 

.1 to 


i.iivviiLiJjU.i.ilt'li, As 

I said before, I shall not trouble rou with 
nuoting many itulliorilies, but I must take 
the liberty of here laying before you a single 
passage from a most respectable author — I 
mean sir Matthew Hale, lord chief justice of 
England, a man not less eminently distin- 
guished for his high integrity, than for his 
great abihty and knowledge ot the law; and 
m his history of his pleas of the Crown, in 
speaking of constructive treason, he uses the 
following words, which I shall beg leave to 
read to you. 

After mentioning tlie great mischiefs that 
were brought in bv constructive treason, he 
says ; — " Now although the crime of hjffh 
treason, is the greatest cnmc against faith, 
duty, and human society, and brings with it 
the greatest and most fatal dangers to the 
govcrnrneut, peace, and happiness of a king- 
aoraj or state, and tlierefore is deservedly 
branded with the highest ignominy, and sub- 
jected to the greatest penalties that the law 
can indict ; yet by these instances, and more 
of ttiis kind that uii^hl be given, it appears^ 
ist, llow necessary it was, Oiat there snould 
be some fixed ancf settled boundary for this 
great crime of treason, and of what grreat ini- 
portancc the statute of 2ith litl ward 3rd wan^ 
in order to that end. 2nd, How dangerous it 
is to depart from the letter of that statute, 
and to multiply and enhance crimes into, 
treason by amoiguous and general words, as> 
accroeching of royal power, subverting of 
fundamental lawSj and the like; and, 3rd^ 
How dangerous it is, by construction and 
analogy to make treasons, where the letter of 
the law has not done it; for such a method 
admits of no limits or bounds, but runs as far 
as the wit and invention of accusers, and the 
odiousncss and detestation of persons accused^ 
will carry men.'* 

These arc the sound and wholesome admo- 
nitionsof this great lawyer and judge, who, as 
you see, gentlemen, from tlic passage I have 
now read to you, points out, in strong and 
forcible terms, the unminent mischiels and 
dangers, necessarily resulting from the loo 
reatOly giving way to treasons by coo* 

But, gentlemen," while I give you this cau- 
tion, in the words of the venerable judgo 
whom I have quoted, I am not upon th 
account to say to you that in the law of En 
land there is no such thing as constructive 
treason. I do not pretend to impose upoa 
you so idle a doctrine ; for I mean lo be can- 
did, and, as far as my knowledge will enable 
me, 1 wish to state lo you fairly, what I con- 
ceive to be the true principles of the law. 
There undoubledly has been admitted and 
sanctioned by law, what is termed construc- 
tive treason ; and accordingly, a conspiracy to 
levy war against tlic king, although such war 
not being actually levied, could not cocne 
under that article of the statutti of lex^ying 
war, has, by a certain construction and inter- 
pretation, been hold to come under tjie &st 




'"branch of the act of cooipassing and imagin- 
ing the <)calh of ihc king. 
I Hii», gentlfmen, as I have already re- 
I marked, is that species of constructive Irca- 
I BQO^ of which the prisoner is here accused. 
He is not charged with any direct aticmpt to 
I imaeine or bring about 30 horrid a purpose ; 
but ne is chargen with what, it is $aia is to be 
r construed a compassing or imagining of the 
I king's death. It rests upon this, that there is 
saia to have been here a conspiracy to levy 
war, against the king. If war had been 
actually levied it miglit perhaps have araounl- 
ed to direct treason, under the second branch 
; of the statute of Edward 3rd; but it being 
only charged as a conspiracy, or, in other 
Iword^, a mere design and inteniion never 
I carried into effect, so the aim of this prosecu* 
ftion is to lead you to believe, that it is by 
f construction, that species of the crime which 
lb described to be the compassing and imagm« 
jiiig the death of the king, 
f Upon this construction, a conspiracy to 
jlcvy war against the king^ i*? supposed and 
understood to be immediately tending to 
the compassing or imagining his drath,' bc- 
I cause it is a conspiracy to do that, which may 
I necessarily and unavoidably involve the 
kiftfety of the kinj^'s person, or'even his sacred 
[life. Now, I admit that a conspiracy to levy 
Iwar, taken in the sense in whicn I have now 
Pitat^ It. may be held a compassing or ima- 
gining the death of the king, so as to bring it 
I to be treason under the first branch of the 
Irtatnte. But, gentlemen, I do beg leave to 
laay, and I do not, in my humble conception, 
hhink that I speak it without authority, that 
I there is here a very great and important dis- 
Itinction to be made, highly meriting your con- 

If the conspiracy to levy war be in itself of 
I such a nature, thai the object of it is, direclly 
land immediately, towards the person of the 
|lcing, then I will readily admit, that agreeable 
""> the received constniclion of •*' '^'", itis 
I be held a compassing or ; the 

cath of the king, and may . . .^ -ic be 
lllrought under the ftrst branch of the statute 
^Of treasons; but wliilc I admit this, I must at 
the same time lake the liberty of saying, that, 
wHh regard to conspiracies to levy war, there 
is a necessity for distingiiishing, and for view- 
ing the king in two different characters and 

In the first place, the king is to be con si- 
dered, : V - ' : " ' ^ • 


' ivcd. 

^ I of 


Trial of David Dotvnie 


as compassing and imagining the death of the 
kiuK, undc:r the tirst branch of the statute of 
25th of Edward 3rd, 

Bul^ in the second plarc, gentlemen, there 
is another and a very different character ill 
which the king is to be considered, and 
which arises from his being that part ot 
branch of that constitution, to which the ex» 
ecutive power of the state is entrusted. This 
has been justly termed the royal capacity, or the 
majesty of the crown, as contradistinguished 
from the royal person of the king. It is, in short, 
the authority of the king in rx'^'^"""- ?lm 
Jaws, and it runs through, and pt 1 ry 

branch, and every gr*xdatiou of th _...;ve 

government, froni the very highest, to the 
lowest and most inconsidcrriblc- In this view, 
even actual resistance to the royal autliority, 
and, sldl more, the intention or dc5i;rn to 
resist it, is considered in a very di ^ 1 I it^ 

and as an offence of an infinitely c, 

than where it is more directly a conipuacy to 
levy war against the king, immediately id 
affect his royal person. 

There is no occasion for our here entcrifltf 
into any discussion respecting th- ^ ^ oT 
criminaUty that may altacii to ;l st- 

ance in different cirf^-^*'"^^^ ' .« 

rity^j but what 1 1 13 

whii'h T riTiiP'it \ ,.. „_L... ' li 

in re war act I ji< 

be ; -I a mere 1 jii- 

sptnxcy to icvy sucli war, does not involve ihc 
« rime of cuTnr;is>ing or imagining the death' 
of the 1 H the commotion or insur- 

rection id, be snrh as is aime^ 

against ^ and not 

merely .al cupacilj- 

If t' 'id, or war 

act slaUUc of 

Edw.ini 11. but if It hif 

merely a coii m insurrection, 

or a purpose v» ^Mt ijnuw ^u levy war, in order 
to resist some branch of the executive aii^ 
thority of the state, or some o(Ut*r nf tKe' 
crown, I will be bold to say, that 1- 

spirarv- a 1 ri mere intention to It \^ . ^as 

not 1 or understood to constitute the 

crin i treason. 

Nuw, gentlemen, that I may not be $up> 
posed to lay down this doctrine without au-^ 
thority^ I must be pardoned for bringing under 
your view, what is stated by two vciy disLio- 
guiiti ' ' /ment lawyers^ who have 
trt: cl. 


y Mr. Ju-i 

;v_it Pvfr\ 




levy wax, may be justly dv 


ity to It' ^ these 

not tn Ml the 

ft act 

ug th^ 

king & dg^lh, because thc»c; purpuM^s cannot 



Jitr High Trmmn. 

A. D. 179*. 


Uc crflfccteil by mimbets and open force with* 
out manifest danger to his person. 

Alter staling this, he in the next section 
proceeds and says, " Ifisurreclions in order 
to throw down all inclosnres» lo ulter the es- 
tablished law, or change rehgioa * to enhance 
the price of all labour ; or lo open all prisons ; 
all nstnj^s in order to effect these innova- 
tions, Ota public and general concern, by nn 
anned force, are, in cons^t ruction of \%^'^ hi^h 
j twason wiJhin the clause of Icvyinj:; war. 
For, though they are not levelled \\X the per- 
son of the kinir, they are against his royal 
niitiesty. And beside?, Ihcy haveadirect ten- 
dejjty to dissolve all the bonds of society, and 
to dealroy ah property, and all government 
loo, by numbers and an armed force. Imur- 
rcctions, likewise, for redressing national 
grievances, or for the expulsion of foreigners 
I in general, or indeed of any single nation 
I living hete under the protection of the king, 
( or for the reformation of real or imajrinar}' 
I eviJs of a public nature, and in which the in- 
I surgents have no special interest^- risings to 
j effect these ends, by force and numbers, are, 
I by construction of law, wifljin the clauhc of 
levying war. For they are levelled at the 
king*s crown and royal dignity/' 

Tlien he goes on, in the next section of his 

treatise, lo mention a rising in tiie iOth of 

Charles tst, which was in order lo surprise 

^ and seize arelibishop Liud ; and afier explain- 

ins the circumstances of that case, he m tJie 

I following section says; *' Dut a bare conspi- 

L ^1^ **>r ctfeciing a rising for the purposes 

L^^tfutioued in the two preceding sections 

^^BeS in the next, is not an overt act of com- 

^^Pl^siug the king*s death; nor will it come 

^tnider any species of treason within the ^5th 

Edward ard, unless the rising be effected. 

I Aod^ in that case, the conspirators, as well as 

the actors, will all be equally puihy. For, in 

high treason of all kinds, all the participts 

\ cnminii are principals/' 

l| ** It must be atiuiittcd that conspiracies for 

these purposes have been adjudged ireason. 

But thoj^c judgments were fonndeJ on the tem- 

p^mLry act of 13lh FJizabctli, which made 

comp&ssing to levy war, declared bv printing, 

writing or advised speaking, higL treason, 

diirinc the hfe of the Queen, 

** liicrc was an act in the 13th Charles Snd 
to the same purpose, on which some prose- 
cutions were founded ; hut that act expi'cd 
with the death of the king/' 

You sec liere, gentlenieij, this learned aiid 
respectable judge, a man of great eminence 
and character, laying down, in clear and ex- 
plicit term?', the very distmction which I have 
taken the liberty of maintaining* It is tlie 
distinction between a conspiracy to levy war 
I aimed at the royal person of the king, and a 
conspiracy tu effectuate a rising for the pur* 
^^wi«e of redressing some grievance, whether 
M^mI or supposed, or of whatever nature it may 
H^^ In short, every conspiracy, which, if car- 
' fted into effect, would aeccasarilv expose tlie 


pcrion of the king lo danger, may be held 
treason. But it is admitted by every lawyer J 
who has treated of the subject, that levying 
war is of two kind^ ; the one is against the 
person of the king, and even to consnire ibis^^ 
ahhough such war be not aelually levied, ii 
yet treason. Another kind, however, 
against what is called the majesty of the king^ 
or against him in his regal capacity : and iiii 
u) ere conspiracy to levy this, if nut artutilf 
levied, is not treason, because it cannot hi 
con%tnJCtion come up to be a compassing < 
ima^^ining the death of I he king, so as to fall 
under the slfitule of Edward 3rd. 

This, gentlemen, is a point of the titmosi 
impurtiiuce, and it uiay be an arduous matte 
indeed to say wiicrc the line is to be {Irawn, if 
you do not tix it in the very way that is tio 
by the learned judge, whose words I hiivi 
just now read to you. If any farther lalilud 
is to be admitted, I do not know what tlicr 
is, that may not be construed into a conspii 
racy to levy war, so as by forced nnplicatioit 
lo be held a compasMug or imagining tha 
death of the king* An intention or design I 
resist or obstruct any one branch of the civii 
authority, or executive power of the statCj^ 
may be said to have a more or less immediate 
tendency in its consequences to endanger thfl 
person of the sovereign, and in that way, by 
very strained construction, may be accounte 
a compassing tlie death of the king. 

It is fearful even to figure the dangers and 
mighty evils to wtnch tliis might lead. If wi 
do not draw a clear hue, there is no saving 
how far it will reach ; and this may call 
your mind, the wise admonition 1 read to you 
from lord Ilale. ** How necessary it is, tha 
there should be some fixed and sctlled 
boundary fur this great crime ot treasons 
and how dangerous it is, by construclion and 
analogj% to make trea>*ons, where llie leltef 
of the law has not done il ; fur such a mrthoAl 
ad mi Is of no linyts or bounds, but nms as faftj 
as the wit and inveuliun of accusers, and ihs 
odiousness and delestalion of persons accused] 
will carry men," 

Besides what! have read to you from Mr,* 
Justice Foster, there is on© other authorityl 
which 1 must beg leave to state, and it is that] 
of another very eminent and respectable] 
judge, 1 mean sir Jolui Holt, w!io was lord 1 
chief justice of the court of Kind's- bench iaj 
England, durin-j; ihe reign of kuig Willium. 
lie presided at the trials of several diftercnt 
persons who were accui«d of the crune oC 
high treason after the Revolution; and^j 
amongst olbcrs, in lite case of sir John Friemr 
who was tritd for beinj^ concerned in a coti* 
spirttcy against llie 
I Vc tender. 

In that case, when summing up the evi- 
dence lo the jury, lord chief justice Holt layi 
down the law in\he folio wing words : *• Then 
there is another thing that sir Jolm Friend 
did insist upoii, and that is matter of law: 
The stiitule of 26th Edward Srd* was read^ { 


kujg, and lo restore tho'j 



whitih is the greii statute about treasoDS ; and 

^thgt docs contain divers species €>!' ireaaoa, 

1 declares, what ^hall be treason. One 

on is, ihe compassing and imigining the 

^dftth of the king ; another is the levying war i 

[_^ow» says be, here h no war actually levied ; 

la hare conspiracy or design to levy war, 

I not come within this law ao;ainst treason. 

Qfow, for Ihal^ T must letl you, it' there be only 

» a conspiracy lo levy war, it is not treason, 

I Bui it' the design and conspiracy be either to 

kitl the kin^, or to depose him, or imprison* 

> or put any force or reslrainl upon him, and 

the way and method ofeflecting of these, is 

LbjT lcv\nvf ii vvAr ; there the consultation and 

to levy a war for ll^at purpose, 

I btg I , though no war be levied ; for 

Buch coimuitition and conspiracy m an overt 

^ act, provmg the compassing the death of the 

\ king, which is the iir*t treason mentioned in 

I Uic stitulc of the 25lb of Edward the 3rd. For 

) the wonU of that statute are, that if any man 

shall compass or imagine the death of the 

king. Now, because a man designs the death, 

deposition, or deKtructioo of the king, and lo 

h that ileaign, agrees and r '' -ij fevy war, 

'Snd tins f^bould not be ti >n if a war 

be not actually levied, is v i > , ^ . ., ^c doctrine, 

and the contrary has aKvav«» been tield to he 

Jaw. There may a war be levied with^mi rmv 

design upon the kin«*s nerson, or c : 

of il, which if actually leviH is hip ; 

but a bare designing to levy war, without 

morc^ will not be treason; as, for example, if 

persons doasscmble themselves, and act with 

Ibrr*' in opposition to some law which they 

think inconvenient, and hope thereby to get 

it repealed, this is levying a war and treason, 

t though purposing and i}y- <»t so ; 

' when iiiey endeavour, in , with 

force to make some reforiii.i.uuii ui uivir own 

bea<Is* without pursuing the methods of the 

law, that is a levying of war, and treason; 

but the purposing and designing it, is 

uol so."* 

In this clear and per?»picuous manner is the 
law laid dywn by tin 'ilea rued judge. It would 
be easy for mc lo produce lo you variouia 
ether authorities to the same purpose, from 
tho*c who have treated uf the criminal law of 
England; but I am unwdling lo detain you. 
I have read lo you the words of lord chi«if 
justice Hult, who presided in the various iriak 
for high treason, after lh« " ' " l' 

and I have read to you tS. 
roster, who *at as judge* in mi n f^.^ irn iir i- 
aou ader the rcbelliou 1715, and from thai 
circii"i->-'"'" frjd hisattrti^i"" ^^> rv,Mi...j,..i, 
«allr anchofii 

r lie ti' wrote a vu 

lent trcaiisi. upon the sulijcct. A' 
mea, you fmd ttu ^ di tiiiiiiishci 

judgtis In very <i»>Unclion 

flich i aui Ling your ullen- 

• Soc Sir John Frieiid » case, Voh 13, p. 01, 


Trial of Da^Jkfwnie 

tion ; and which i^, that where the war to b« 
Icvyed, is aimed directly ugainst the person ot* 
the king, in order Id dethrone, or to depoitfe 
him, then a contpicacy to levy such a war^ 
is treason ; but where the pur|)ose it merely 
to make some reformation with force and 
numbers, without pursuing the methods uf 
the law, there, although the actual levying 
sucli war is treason, yet a conspiracy lo do !»o, 
or, in other wordi, the purposing and de^^tgu* 
ing tt, is not so. 

After having thus endeavoured to convey 
to you a clear idea of the important distinction 
wmch I have been here explaining, I must 
now beg leave, gentlemenj lo call your atten- 
tion to another principle regarding the law of 
treason; and it is a principle the more 
strongly demanding your consideration, be- 
cause 1 conceive it to be of great moment in 
the present case. 

In other crimes, a design to commit the 
crime, an intention or purpose of the mind to 
perpetcate it, or even some step taken towants 
the commission of it, does not con?»tttute the 
crime itself. An intention to commit theft 
or murder, Ijowcvcr it may mark the guilt of 
the mind, yet while remaining a bare intention 
it is not viewed m the same light, nor draws 
aAer it the pmjishment of the law, a^iftbc 
guilty purpose had been carried into efl'ecl, 
and the crime actually committed. 

In the crime of high treason, however, the 
case ib dxii'creut ; and there the mlc isi, Voiuntut 
reputatur pro facto. In treason, the circum* 
staitce to be regarded is, tlie intention of the 
mind. It is the purpose and debign ; or, in 
other words, it ts the ^Ity heart, that is in 
tins crime the object of pimishmcnt. Accor- 
dingly, it is the tmitorously compassjing and 
imagining, tlial constitutes the oti'ent*^, and 
the overt acts are only viewed as tlie evidence 
of the traitorous intention. 

So clearly is this the principle of the law, 
that if a person was to put lo death the kin^y 
tlie indictment against him would be laid, 
not lor committing that most atrocious act, 
hut it vvtuld hv laid aLMin>l Vara fur coropas^ 
sin' riig; aind 

tli« rtt act 

to pruvtd tlie cumpuHbiu^^kMJ itua: it. 

rVltcr the rcsiorution, when tli .^^^ 

came Vj be tried for the murdtir ol k 
(!haries 1st, ihe indirimrtiiwas not luidt « 

n iif fi'^.iiii ill iiH. Kingf ;*rm thc 

h< Its head was laid as one of Uie 

!l siat«:d by Mr. Justice Foster, 

s ** Mir II. riMinc ni musicbariBO 
rly eOQi^ia 
the srv 11 ployed 

by tJR iitocttua 

pi< >sVd«n!d 

fiv fueaoa 

made UK; ol to c 



for High Treason, 

bttft. And^ therefor^ 

rektiies^ the indictmetjt 

iuT traitorously compaas 

[ iiMirrr ' h oi tlie king. And tlie 

ing gflbi^ Ueay waa laid, among others, as 

l«i«rt aet of cooapaaaing: And the person 

was sufiposed to have given tbe f^troke^ 

I comricteo CMi the aanw indictment.'' 

I a Itille afterwards, be adds, ** The star 
tnfUmtam biiUi with great proprk^y re- 
ihm mle^ VoluniaJt pro facto. Itconsi- 
Ibe wkked imaginatians of the heart 
iilbe dama ilegrce olguiit, as if carried into 
MtoaJ execution^ from the moment measures 
to have been token to render them 

la llie crtma of tre^on, therefore^ the law 
fanideffaaiid looks to th« \»tcked imaginations 
alllia faattrt; mid tlie overt acts are onJy the 
asJind evidtixt; ol'llie Iniiturous pur- 
From this it necessarily lo]li>u-4, and it 
ygaalkmeOy V iilar attention, 

laal lo logr ebafgo t ^i^on, and in 

tag tlia overt ^.^^p .i.ij, and the proof 
L ill supfmrt of tliem, the ^reat and inv 
ot^iact must be, to weigh, with the 
■I caiilioitd deliberation, the nature o( the 
t and iuilLir Ih-w (ai Uk*t are sneh as 
canj a cujx of a. Jury, of 

thiwkk4Nl . *'se in thcpcr- 

iiqM^^UMdifii iOinp^nMUgaud imagining the 
teUmf the king. 

GcntJrmen, 1 mu.^t entreat your attention 

ta lina« for it is of |;Tc;it importance. You see 

Ihm ptmcifik o( the law i», ti)»t it is li)e trai- 

ptarfKite of the mind, which ubnc 

Umi offooee* 1 lie overt acts are 

I |;>roofsof that Iraitoroiia ptir- 

^ibL Itertfore, ♦** '^•"_' to he consi^ 

I y^ M ttature, t 1 1 , and import 

ov«it acts; anu „,,,.., vT they uitord 

and convincing proof, that tliey 

lcu>nori)v hint r»rucccfled, from the 

ai^l M>n of compassing 

jiumi « the king. 

Ill lite |irc»e&t eadc, l^te tpedes of treason 

dMBfid 1A» tba cofupassfii? and imagining the 

itttS or " 

oClbe kingf an 
bo ^njch^HJ^ ti 


ti an olff f i 

're, the overt 

to prove that 

11 Ue of no sort of 

r as it can connect 

: ■ >>irg Jtnd 

to any 

, v.* .... avail. It 

">ie, or mav anxntnt 

: kind ; but where 

, m iupport of an mdiclmcnt fur rom- 
_ and itnatritunj, it iim^t luvtrv^arily 
i|i|i3r 19 that, ' 'is can be of uu 

'i| in proof' i;o. In short, the 

ptjrpowr I irt constitutes tht^ 

and a j i be !*ure of thai 

purpose m lliC pu>un accursed, befuie 

^UlfeoOfh . that, in 

mkn cnm* i ^i ilic 

aifti diica net cpniuiutc ; 'that 

A.D. 1794. [131 

it is requisite the intention be actually i:arried 
into ctiect, yet 1 niU5»l at the same time ob* 
«erve,that in ail crimes whatever, the greater 
or lesser degree of guilt in tlie mind, ei^sen- 
lially varies, and changes the extent of ihe ot- 
Ituce. '1 bus, in iKJniicide, it totally depends 
upuu the intention of the heart, whether ii is 
to be decnjed any crime at all ; or, if a crime, 
then of what nature Uiat crime is. The effect 
ia the same, for the man is killed ; but the 
person who killed him, m "v ht' amity or inno- 
cent, according to circu If he 1ms 
killed him by mnocent r, , or in ne* 
cessary self defence, he is guilty of no crime* 
If he has killed him only upon pmvocahon, 
and in sudden passion, he is gudly only of 
manslaughter. If be has killed i«m of design 
and from nrdVice prepcmct cs malliia pn^^o^i^- 
idia^ it is the atrocious crime of foul and de- 
liberate murder. The whole colour and conv 
plexion of the ofteuce, in sljorl, shifH and va- 
ries acconiing to the degree of guilt m the 
heait, from which it proceeds. 

In treason, however, as I have already 
shown you, the very essence of the cnnie hes 
wholly in the wicked purpose or intention. 
It is not necessary, as in other crimes, that 
the purpose be carried into effect, but tlie 
very heart is to be looked into, and if the de- 
liberate and wicked purpose is found there, it 
b the crime of treason. The law requires, ifK 
deed, that the traitorous purpose must be ma- 
nifestcfi proTjeubiement by open deed j that is 
to say, by overt acts sufficiently proved; hut 
as it is the crimmal purpose thai is the object 
of punishment, so the overt acts are onty the 
manifestation of the traitorous intention, and 
arc not to be regarded nor held of any weight, 
excepting in so tar as they amount, to clear 
manifest andunequivucal proofs, of the wicked 
purpose of compassing and imagining the 
death of the km^. 

My lord thiefjustice Coke, in the 3rd part 
of his Institutes, where he treats of the crime 
of high treason, frequently repeals the maxitn, 
Actui non jAcU reum nisi mciu $U rea. His 
not the deed that makes the guilt; but it is 
the guilty mind that conili lutes the crmi 
You are to look, therefore, gcnt)puien, tu tf 
intentions and imaginations of the heait. You 
are to consider the overt acts only in so far a.** 
they may manifest the witkcd intention. Vou 
are'scrupulously to weigh the overt act^, and 
consider whether they alFord proof of that 
wicked, dehberale, and ma lit louH purpose of 
the heart, and whether they carry home to 
your own minds and consciences a clear am* 
full conviction of the compa5*singandimajgii> 
in^ the death of the king, wiiich is tlie crir- 
charged in this indictment. 

GtQtIcmeo, I have dwelt the longer upon 
this and have cnfurcr<l the more larnes^Uy 
the principles I hii\ ', beciiusc I lliini 

they are peculiarly ' to a c:isc sin 

as the prcscnL In wri^ Muiiitrneiu wher 
the fpccies of treason cliargcd is the conW| 
passiuig or nuagiaing the dc^ilh of the kr 



Trial 1^ David Dawnle 


Ihe overt acts la'id^ must be such as clt^arly 
prove and raanifesl that tmilorous purpose. 
This, as your own ^oud svciise will at once sug- 
\ 5l to youj must be a very nice and dellculc 
aattcr. Hard it is, to dive into the recesses i 
pf the human heart; and yel, lUi yon do this, 
ftnd see it in the cleare&t and futlekl ii^htf you 
fcre not, as men of honour and integrity, enti- 
ced to conclude, that guilt is proved, nor to 
t>u.sign your fellow citizen to that puniUinient 
Bfhitli is'due to xhtwr only who are truly guihy | 
Df the crime thui is churG;cd. \ 

And this lcad5, gentlemen, to a considera- 
Liou %vhit h I di'em of great importance, and 
^viuch regards the nature of overt acts, as re- 
Duisitc to support an indictment, where the 
^arge is, the compassing or koagining the 
death of the king. 

There may occur certain times and situa- 
|ions, where circumstances, which in them- 
Lielvcs arc ,secmingly very f»bght, may yet \ 
iju&tly be held ^ucli overt acts, as clciirly and 
I'Conclusively to prove and demonstrate the 
] traitorous purpose But whdc, as I .^hall iuv i 
t»lMediiUcly show, this not only may br, but at ! 
hCertain periods actually has been the case; \ 
►.yet, upon the other hand, there may full as \ 
kcertainly exist periods and conjunctures, 
Inhere it would be dangerous and perilous in 
the extreme, from any ci re um stances or any 
^overt acts, other than those of the most infaU 
rlibie atid vn^ambiguons kind, to form the con- 
^clusion of guilt. 

I think 1 may well and successfully illus- 

.Irate this, by l»iking a very short review of 

I tiie trials for higti treason, since the glorious 

ijraof the Itevolutiou in IflBB. After king 

>V illiiim usctuded tlic throne, and during his 

jreigri, repealed attempts were made to over* 

turn the govern mint, and there wexe even 

•some conspiracies fur the assassination of the 

king, Ju like manner, afier the illustrious 

, Louse of Hano\'cr wu** happily seated on the 

/throne^ diflferent cd'urts were m;ide by the ex- 

, iled family and their friends, to excite rcbeU 

k lion, and restore the house of Sluuri. This 

produced, fust, the rebellion 171 A, soon after 

the accessioi| of George Isl^ and atlerwards 

the rcbdli^ 1745, during the reign of his 

Jatc uiiijesty, king George 2nd. 

Almost the whole cases that have occurred 
of trials for liigh treason since the year l(JB8, 
have arisen from themanv repeitteu^hut most 
fortunately unsuccessful endeavours of the 
exiled family to recover the throne, in these 
triitls, much arLMinw ni .tul Jlsru.-tun seem to 
have tj,krn pi i tt acts re- 

quisite for prt , u; or i magi- 

liifig tlje deaUt ot the kinj; ; and, m many of 
these Citsr «, f,\ru and cjri umstauces appa- 
rently vei have yet been helvl autfi- 
ctcntton frstt»>r<'U^ pMrj»o*r. 

tt IS nn/dJ. 
lhrou£:li a nun. i 

for com i of the 

king. 1 1 - Icmen 

haf procured a so mi k to trHQ>puiL ibem to 
France, but were stopped before thry eot out 
of the river Thames, and their p; d. 

Among the papers, was found :■ r- 

tendetfto be Uid before the French k:i!_ r 
his ministers^ for invading the kingdoui ui i.i 
vour of the Pretender, "with ni. ., 

notes, and memorandums, all ten '\<i 

same purpose. Lord Preston, ij.i» .i. ui|^iil, 
went mto a boat at Surry stairs » in which he 
was conveyed to the smack that was to convey 
him to France, but was seized before be had 
gotout of the river. 

Upon his trial, lord Preston in^^ no 

overt act was proved upon him it I *'X, 

where all the overt acts were laid ; lor he wat 
taken with the papers in the county of Kent. 
But the Court told the jury, that it' upon the 
whole evidence, they did believe that \m lord- 
ship had an intention of going into trance, 
and to carry those papers thither for the pur^ 
poses charged in the indictnient, his taking 
boat at Surry stairs, which are iu Middlesex^ 
in order to go on board the smack, was a sui- 
ticient overt act m Middlesex, Every step 
taken for lltose purposes, was an overt act ; 
and accordingly the jury found luni i^uill)*. 

Here you see, that this seenungly trivial 
and slight cucumstance of his takiiis: boat at 
Surry stairs, was held a sufficient overt act of 
the trea^Q charged; but then, you will re- 
mark, gentlemen, that there beuig; a clear, de- 
finite, and unambiguous object in view, and 
to which the overt act was to be applied, so, 
every step taken for accom that ob- 

ject, was an overt act (i ,ns the 

traitoroir i ^ x' .i V lo- 

sing aii^: ■<[>- 

jectin\it-", .... ,,jiv i, -lui.ii- i.M. *i.-.u.nJcr 
wa*y utterly incompatible with the preserva- 
tion and safety of the king upon the throne. 

The papers and letters found upon lord 
Preston clearly demonstrated what was in- 
tended ; for they were written in prosc?cution 
of certain drlerminate pur]^wics, which were 
all treasonable, and t^icn in contemplation of 
the otfenders. Any step* thereibre, even the 

mto rrancc, 
I and mani- 

V! **If 

I tl'urs and 

uii iHUiruiid oi 

taking boat at «S 

was an ovt^rt act 

fest. As mv ' 

any one can 

at this time ui m 

in such a manner, I leave to the jury's coD 

bir1pr:Hl.»n " 

through a great variety of other 

Cii^ |^onthHthave occurtLil slmr the 

Jlevohition, but it is altogether uu a% 

they would only itlu'-rniic th» ng. 

In all of them, lli en 

to restore the cm ud 

»*jr thii' (he 

kirm ii> ,ic^ 


%vu':u tiJ4i \vu.-i uic cMv^ uvcri ull^.^ even or ihc 


far High Treaion. 

A. D. 1794. 


slightest k\f\(\, might be held sutTirient, U | 
hemz impossible Urat any steps towards realo- ; 
r'mg'^lhe Pretender could mean any thing less 
than fiepo5»ing the king. | 

Bur, geullcroen, it would he most unjust 
and uvil'air, lo infer, that circumstances equally 1 
slighti should be held sufficient overt ! 
acts, where the situation is v^idely different, i 
mid where there is no such clear and deter- • 
minate object to connect with a traitorous pur- I 
pose. In order to fix the existence of the | 
traitorous intention, it is necessary, that ; 
there should, in the first place, be proof that 
tlic object m view is clearly and certainly to 
aftcct the person of the king. Without evi* 
dence of such certain and determinate object, 
it must be unjysit to suppose a traitorous pur- 
pose» or to hold, as overt acts, fads and cir- 
cumstinces, which may have had for their 
fthject, something exceedingly different from 
any such most wicked and criminal design* 

it would be a dangerous thing, indeed, and 
vrouUl be bringing ilic liberty and security of 
the 5uhject into a most perilous condition, if, 
upon the bare supposition of the existence of 
a design to dethrone the king, and overturn 
the government, any jury was lo interpret 
into c>vert acts of treason, facts and circum- 
stances, which, it there be no such object in 
view, may be cither in themselves ahogcther 
innocent* or at least infinitely less crirninal, 
than to deserve the denomination of hi!*h 
treason. It becomes you, therefore, gentle- 
aen, and it is a duty which you owe to your- 
elves and to your country, to proceed with 
nicest caution and circumspection. Bc- 
li^ou admit circumstances in the conduct 
lay man, as overt acts of a treasonable 
purpose in his mind, you must be well as- 
sured, and have indubitable proof, that there 
lid exist a certain and determinate object, to- 
rards accomplishing which these overt acts 
ended ; or, in cither words, that there was a 
fixed purpose of compassing or imagining the 
death of the king. Nay, more, yuu must see 
that object clearly connected with, and 
brought home to the person accused; for 
her wise you cannot fix upon him the trai- 
orous purpose, let the existence of the scheme 
• ever so certain, 

1 am much afraid, gentlemen, I have de- 
lined you loo long with these general obser- 
iations respecting the law of nigh treason, 
piiy for the peate and tranquillity of this 
ilry, wc arc little acquainted with trials 
' this kind, and tlie subject being new to 
Du, I thought it my duty to endeavour lo 
itplain, as clearly as in my power, what I 
onceivc to be the principles of the law of 
reason, so far as any ways material for the 
consideration of the present case. I shall 
now proceed to offer you some observations 
upon the evidence which you have this day 

I heard ; and the attention* with which you 
have hitherto honoured me, induces n^e to 
llvpc ihut you will |>atiently listen tu what I 
ikftve yd to say. 

^Hdid e 


Gentlemen, you have heard the indict- 
ment against the prisoner read, and you have 
heard it recapitulated and enlarged upon by 
the counsel for the crown. It is very long^ 
and I will not tire you now by going over the se- 
veral parts. I have already observed, that, 
though branched out inlo a great number 
different articles, yet, upon the whole, th( 
only species of treason charged, is that oj 
compassing or imagining the death of the i 
king. Not being accustomed to this very 
proUx form of indictment, I find my«elf lost: 
and bewildered in its verbosity and cndlesi 
repetitions. I presume, however, that I 
various articles or counts, into which it 
branched out, are meant as setting forth 
many different overt acts of the species 
treason charged. In place, therefore, of f 
lowing the indictment minutely, I shall ni 
confine myself to those particulars which th^ 
prosecutor seems chiefly to have rested upoi 
as llic overt acts in support of his charge, ani 
to which, accordingly, the proof winch h 
has this day brought, has been directed. 

The first branch of the evidence adduce 
on the part of the prosecution, was, as y 
were tola, to explain and point out to you t1 
nature and the .spirit of the measures of Ihat 
nieeliag called the British Convention, which 
was held here some time in the end of las t ji^ 
year. Evidence was introduced^ likewise, re^H 
specling the objects of a society held in I>on^«B 
don, called the London Corresponding iSo- 
ciety, and you have had printed papers and 
letters produced to you regarding certain 
proceedings of that society. And the great 
purpose ot all this evidence is, to connect loyH 
getlicr, as Intimately as possible, the tieiv^^ 
and objects of that society in London, with 
those of the British ConventioUj and the so- 
ciety of Ibe Triends of the People in Scotland. 
1 must remark, gentlemen, that in all thig, 
the counsel for the prosecution have taken a 
very wide and extraordinary range. Societies 
in two distant and different parts of the united 
kingdumy, are thus endeavoured to be blended 
together, although composed of individuals 
totally different ; and every measure adopted 
by the one, ts not only to be supposed the 
measure of the other, but every the most 
wild, frantic, or intemperate proposal or ex- 
pression of any rash individual in the one, is 
not only lo fix that character upon the whole 
of that numerous society to which he belongs, 
but at once to transfer and to contaminate 
with tlie same character a distinct set of men 
at several hundred miles distance. 

I will not detain you by going through 
the papers which were produced, and which 
you this day have heard read, but I must take 
the liberty of offering some general remarks 
upon the' whole of this branch of the evi- 
dence, and what weight or influence it ought 
to have upon your minds, in considering the 
case of the unfortunate prisoner at the bar* 
whose life is now in your nands. 
It is a fact well known to all of you, that 

for a number of } ears past^ there have been 
many p^soos wlio have tliou^t that tl>ere 
were abuser rcquiriag correction^ and that 
for this purpose certain reforms in the cunsti* 
tutioD of pjurliiitneDt v/as necessary. Whe- 
ther this opinion he wejl or ill founded, I do 
not think it in the least degree material for 
me to iiiquire, nor would it he proper here to 
enter bto such a discussion, I shall be al- 
lowed to say, however, that it is an opinion 
whi<;h has at least extensively prevailed, and 
haa been countenanced aad supported by 
many pefsousy not only of the highest rank 
and most re8t)e€Uble eharacterSp but men^ as 
zealouslj ana sincerely attached to tlie go- 
vemmeiit and constitution of this country, as 
aay la the kingdom. It ha^ been repeatedly 
the subject of aiscussion in parliament, and it 
has been an object, zealously pursued by 
many societies and bodies of men in difierent 
part* of the kingdom, and this for a course of 
years past, without incurring the censure or 
ineeting with any check from government. 
Indeed, while men act u[x>n an opinion , of the 
justke of which they h.ivc an honest convic- 
tion, and while ihey pMr^n.^ »hRt, in a per- 
fectly fair, legal, ami < rial way* Jt is 
impossible, that in tli« . ,_ ^:A happy coun- 
try, they can meet wkh either censure or re- 
prehension , 

I have said thus much, gentlemen, because 
I wish you to remember and keep it in your 
view, thai every man who is friendly to ru- 
form, and even zealous for promoting it, is 
not upon ll*at account, to be set down as a 
perikOA entertaining hostile intentions aguinst 
the law and government of the country. 
There are many persons warmly attached to 
reform, who«e views arc not cmly the most 
pure, and whoee love of the constitution is 
i>ot only the most thoroughly sincere ; but 
wlio, from their very ardour foe preserving the 
COD !»titu lion in its utmost purity, cherish the 
idea of reform, and pursue the completion of 
it with enthusta^uc teal. Whether their idea 
be riffht or be wrong, it js of no consequence. 
While they pursue it fairly and honestly, 
thnr certainly ean incur at least no blame ; 
ancf I earnestly request of you to remember, 
that those who are friends to rcfurm, are not 
upon Uiat account lo be supposed or pre- 
sumed enemies to the constrtulion ; for if 
you did, you would rashly mvolve in tliat de- 
scription. Dot only many honest, sincere, and 
well-meaning men, but also some of the most 
^ure, the most enhghtencd, and the most ex- 
ailed characters in tliis nation^ 
^ And, genliemen, 1 must beg leave to go a 
little fmhcft and while yoti are to be careful 
aot l0 pvesuoK, that men, because tbey are 
fnetid^ to reiorm, are therefore hostile tv go- 

jwrtnmenT, 1 mun entreat of youaisotorcflpcr, 
iit m assemblies u{ men, you 

I ooi ■■\r\ that tlic tJttraviiganl» the 

wililyOf liti ae opoiona and idcaa 

of some, u.; |>iQjonf and >dew of 

every ci^ person of wfanch thi loclety 

Trittl of David Dowtiie 

or meeting may he composed. In all 
such numerous assemblies, there will often 
shoot up violent and turbulent spirits, 
whom the more sober and moderate tnay tor 
a time be unable to resist^ but because such 
intempei^te men may for a while rtile, and 
give the colour of tlieir own minds to the 
proceedings of the meetingp it would be hard 
to condemn the whole, in one inihscriminate 
heap, and so involve the innocent with the 
guilty. Let every mun be responsible for 
hiniM^lf alone. In common fairness and in 
justice, we ought to separate and discrmii- 
nate; and till a man is proved to be himself 
guilty, do not let us involve liim in the guiU 
of another. 

We have heard much to day of what parsed 
in the meeting at the • i- 

nuary last, and of the pr 
farm upon 14th April. 1 um exct r 

from wishing to vindicate those 
and still less will I attempt to ju^jiisy uxir 
wild and extravagant proceeding!? ; buU not- 
withstanding Ihia, I am willing to believi^ 
that there must have been many individuaii 
who, however well disposed lo siv*'^"» *f _, 
cause of reform to a certain eil* I 

never have adopted any vioh'nL t 
derate ideaa of the leaders of i 
but, on the contrary, if they , 
such tarther pursued, or about W he sortuual; 
carried into eflect, would at once have rrsist 
ihcm with their utmost force, and if ' > 
ful in that resistance, would insi . ve 

relinquisheil and abandoned a HicieLy, vvliobe 
measures were not calculated to promote re- 
form, but to produce anarchy and confusion. 

You have been told, gentlemen, that to- 
wards the end of last year, and in the begii^j 
ning of the present, the object of the dilFcre 
societies for reform, came to assume a new 
appearance. The obtaining a reform of the 
representation in parliament, was still held 
out as the 05te»sible pretext, while, in facf 
as we are told, more daring and criminal 
signs were secretly in view. In short, it is 
said, the plan was, to assemble what was lo 
be called a General Convention, to be 
posed of delegates from various societti 
meetings and a&semhiies of men in diflfereot 
parts of the kingdom, and which wa* intejided, 
forsooth, t. ■' ; 

initsrcpi' fo* 

itself all ttic jijii' (1 n^cis VI a 

tional legislature. 

If there really did . xi^i .^ ,- -■- - •fsiB 
it was not less wicked and crin 

and 1!^''"-""'" *" ^ ^1*^ *'\lrrMii#> I 

tip 01 ' ' 

nane, u 

tional mil 'I 

wL'iJ, .(lid I 

and lo Like tlic requiMtc mcuurc^^ lor pre* 


./br High Treason, 

A. D. I'm. 




ffCitiiif lluU gencnd convention, v^hich, if it 
ihfltfU lie actuated by so intemperHte a spint, 
fl^j^ ^ fMtKlutCtivc of dangerous conse- 
fl U CTfg* . But ^hiJc I may reacJily admit this, 
1 r ! f^ic pame time own, gciilJcnnen, 

: my own ntind such a Jove and 
ion, and 
^t' of the 
piopl* < , tij iiit-ji iull coa- 

TJCpin ^s of tb:it govornraent 

1o oilertam an idea thai ) ed 

eoofcutkin^ even iHt liau .. i. led, 
it aetctr did, would ever have given 
Qocurrrjice and support to any nica- 
smtB mmtiii^ tinient^ or have gone a 

li^fe aie{> i^i i to t^ke fair» Ic^l, sod 

««MiiMtlo>ii«J ti*e4i6ufes for renewing their 
U» iMMrUanoent for obtaining a 

\ lemte lo say eealn, genttejneo, that I 
Cir i-hiiig or attempting to 

die V :> at the Olohe Lavern 

Cliaik ij^rm i or in short of any'such 
^ I ; and I think pvc-rnnient acted 
iiy and wbely in usir - -r — ty pre- 
I propaM getietaJ i But, 

• |ifii4/«i^t!v -rMveTiuiK. ., .. -L^.aaur^ in 
pod, rcmcuibcr, also, that 

■I f . never did assemble ; 

[caaooi retore^ thinkittg it ra- 

bard i^ »-» with any certainty, 

itld k^ve been the proceedings and 
I of that Assembly, if they liatl 
iMoughl toecthiir. \Vhat may be 
il came of aiami as to what possibly 
B^ can be no just gn>und for con- 
X what was dreaded certainly 
* V ' .1 tiie cotiventiun 

I feel uiy mind^ nay, I 

rn^taduiim, tmn r 1 t (unvenlion hud 
r iaaieiiiblei), and jf i!j t v^ i c liny persons 
Ibnned dani;<ji:i ^r criminal dc- 
Ibey would hnvr 1 .'jtjJ their views 
t»*!v ff isHir.itr<l iiiif ': .n^jjoiuted. When 
Jm> ' It waA to be fi- 

ts were to be pur- 
must have pre* 
td; and \prcs5ions, and all 

tii«l^, fmUi, and iiiit.fn^»eratc resolutions 
pfSHr9l9on» vViich had been before 
I ^'' nished, as sound 




When brought 
they would 
I oolcr men, 
, which the 
t ever com- 
em that the 
hirh they 

rji* ur.'ji. 

tiid rr 

eomtitntion under 
Jy waiskl be but ilJ^xchanged for anarchy 
oa OQltfiiaioo ; that tiiis, however, would 
la Iba tod eertaio rv^uK of any rash 
tfteaipl Ut (oiliflttule annthcr in its place ; 
tat aoT roqyiattc! and talutary reforms, 
^Qokl ba best attained by those known 
«i 1«^ mams which the conaitutton 
««tf bad fnfnM; that Vbm deomod^, 

if just in themselveap would ultin 
be complied with; Ihalj iu ibe 
while, they shouM learn to value tl»al pemcei^ 
security, and happiness which they enjoyed; J 
and not, by im]rAtient and inconsideratal 
Tiolencc, tear to pieces the whole fabric of 1 
government, and involve themselves and their ( 
country in contusion and disorder. 

Reasoning:^ so sound and ao convincing^ J 
would infaUibly have prevailed; and at anj^l 
rate, I surely may at least say, tliat it would! 
be unfjiir to fortu ;iny unfavourable conclusion 1 
MS t.i «lk;tt would liave been the conduct andi 
J is of a convention, which it is ad»l 

3 ver did assemble. The very purpose] 

Qt tins mtcnded coovention, seems to haval 
been, lo know and to collect the sentimental 
of the friends of reform in different parts of 1 
tl>e kingdom ; and as there is no doubt tha 
the views ^f men were exceedingly difiereui^J 
both as to the extent of any lelorm to b 
sought, and as to the manner and time of up . 
plying for it, so I thiok it would be unjust lo| 
presume tliat the^ convention would havej 
come to any Lrimlnal resolutions; and sUJi 
more nnjvist lo presume that every set ofnieiL 
who thought of sending delegates to that con* 
vention, had no other view nor purpose^ Uiaaj 
to supersede the llou^e of Commons, and t/§J 
assume all the fimctions and powers of 

But, gentlemen, I am afraid I have dweH 
too long uiWQ this ; and I should not haval 
ihouj'hl il necessary to say so mmh if wc had J 
not this day heard at ssudi length of the prtM J 
ccedings at the Globe laveru, and at Chalk« 
farm, with the view of assFmilating the spirit 
and purposes of those meetings, and of th« 
intendea general convention, with that ol 
i^ome of me meetings and societies of tha 
Friends of the Peo[>le in this country. 

For this reason, I thought it my ilnty, toJ 
trouble you with the observations I have sug» J 
gested, m order lliatyou might not be apt r 
lorm loo hasty conclusions j tJiat you n ' ' 
not be led to suppose criminal designs wll 
the clearest proof; that you might not trana^ 
fer the guilt of one man, or of one set of men, 
to another; but that you might di^tinguibi)^^ 
and carefidly consider, what is the real i 
and amount of the oflcnce, and whctlier i 
the being guihy of that offence, U broughl] 
home lo the person accused ^ 

With regam to the prisoner now at the 1 
he wais no member of the London Corres 
pondr ^ V, nor had he any concern uij 
the I > cither at the Globe tav 

or at ;^ Hi. IV 1,1 111. Indeed, no such thing 
even pretended ; and ii*« to his having been al 
member of that meeting called the BritLsl|| 
Convention, which assembled at Edinburgh 
in December last, you will remeoiber, tHal' 
this day when I opposed the admitting any 
proof of that, I was told by tlie gcmtiemen on 
the other side, that they did not care whether y 
they proved Mr. Downie a member of tiia^ 
British CoDvcatioa or nut, beca,v\^ «XV W^rj 

143] 3i GEORGE IIL 

Vished for, was to hhow you wliat llicy wcrr 
piciised to call the genius^ ihe spiril, and the 
views of thai meetinp;. In short they did not 
^niean to criminate him on thai accoiint ; anfl 
indeed they could not, because, in the prose- 
cutions before the court of justiciary against 
certain persons for having been in that con- 
vention, the crown had adduced Mr. Downie 
as a witness in support of that prosecution ; 
and having there given his evidence fairly, he 
could not be himself prosecuted for that oi^ 

After having laid before you some of the 
proceiJing^i of this British Convenliou, tlic 
next thmg endciivourcd to be proveii, was, 
that after this convention had been disperbetJ 
by my worthy and re ^ pec table friend the lord 
provost, in some place where they had ais- 
sen)bled in Edinburgh, they again presumed 
to meet in another nUce on the south side of 
the town, ami whicfi place being out of the 

i jurisdiction of the city magistrates, the sheriff 
went there, and again dispersed them. After 
this second dispersion, you have heard, that a 
number of these people went to a Mason 
liodge in the Canongate, where they held u 
fiort of meeting, and afterwards once or twice 
Assembled somewhere else* — You have been 
farther told, that there was formed what was 
called a Committee olUnion^ consisting of 
delegates from the dilTerent societies of the 
Friends of the People in the city of Edinburgh 
and its neighbourhood ; and the object of this 
committee was, to carry on the purposes of 
fcform. This Committee of Union being 
rather numerous, nametl a small •sub-commit- 
tce, which was called the Committee of Ways 
and Means, and of this Committee of Ways 
and Means, Mr. Downie, the prisoner at the 
bar, was a member. 

Now, gentlemen, I besj leave to repeat 
a^ain what I formerly said, — that I have no 
wish or desire to vindicate those attempts to 
continue such meetings, after they had been 
checked and disapproveil of by the govern- 
nveot of the country. 1 am very far from 
commending that spirit, and you raaj lix what 
blame you please upon it ; hut you wilJ take 
care that out of your dislike and disipproba* 
lion of that, you du nut ^o a step beyond 
ivbat vou ought to do, and connect it witti 

k ivhat it luis no real connexion, 1 mean the 
triine of high treason. 1 dare to say, that 
Ihere were many Friends of tlie Fcoplc'in tliat 
CoRiniittee of Union, who had not even ao 
idea of employing force and arms against Ihe 

. c^overnment of the country, Ihcy liad it im- 
V ' ri their minds, that a reform was nt' 

nd, in the breasts of some violeni 
^* liut-, ii)cre might - -^ — '-i -vcn crimi- 
nal designs ; Lull Uat in ttic 
§i-^;it i..nJr,i,,,i.- .:,r ,,,,. ._.^ not even 
ic I trying, by force of 

ami ii lh<LV wi^IiL'd. As 

they Qi9$t co-tiUidjf iiid caccv^tugly wrung; j 

Trkl ^f Damd Downie f 1 44 

but what is the ainotujt of that wrong ? Let 
it be punished accoriing to its degree of de- 
merit; but, from that circumslancc of their 
iiiPcting privately, when they could not do so 
publicly, do not conclude that these men 
were inlrndmj^ high tre^ison. Do not confoumi 
two things which are perfectly separate a\id 
different. Let the boundaries of crimes he 
kept clear and distiiKt. Let each meet with 
its proper punishment, but do not mistake 
one for another, nor construe into high trea- 
son, an offence that is infinitely less criminal; 

It will not be ^aid, that any proceedings in 
this Conimiltee of l^nion were more culpable 
than those of the British r.M ■ ' ■. which 
was dispersed ; and you ha\ Llcmcii 

that the measures of that ^ .,,,.,. .ui wTre 
not construed to he hi^h treason, M.irj^'Jirot, 
Gerrald, and others, w^io were active in that 
conventiouj were brou^^ht to trial before the 
hij;h court of justiciary : and the crime charg- 
ed against them was )»ot treason^ but only mj- 
dition. Had it been treason, we should nave 
heard of it as such ; but they were tried and 
punished for sedition, and are now aurterinij 
the punuhment of that offence. Nav, farther, 
even those persons concerned in the proceed- 
ings at the Globe-tavern, and at ^ ' " im, 
if they had been supposed guilt) i* 

son, would have been prosecuttfl au-i mcd 
for that crime, and yet no such thin^ has 
happened. We are told, indeed, there is an 
intention to prosecute them, but of I hat you 
most certiinly have no evidence; and you 
have no right' to hold, nor conclude, that the 
members of this Committee of Union, were 
guilty of at least any greater offence, than that 
%vhich, in the members of the liriiisli Coa- 
vention, was found to be only sedition. 

And here, gentlemen, let us attend a little 
to the evidence regarding the Comtuillee of 
Union, and the Sub-corn miitce of Ways ami 
Means, The fir^t wiiin '" ' George 

Ross, a clerk in the i -*\ ami 

whokeplalsoa kind nt uivirn, thetie 
committees were accustomed to muH. Not 
havinc been a member himself, he is not cer- 
tain whether there were two committees, or 
only ou(*^ but that he heanl of one called m 
Comiuittee of Ijnion t thai he has sc^n Mr. 
Watt, Mr, Stoke, Mr, M'Hwan, Mr. nownte, 
and Mr, Bon throne, present at th >« 

and that Bomrlimcsa greater nui d. 

cd. He mentions that he reccivi ir, 

Stoke copies of a letter from ihf; kU 

ing Society at LoiH^ ^, 

and which he diii io 

r 'V > • nd 


Ul' nj -J-H.^ t>04 

th III. 

n '. ':.« 

P, of 

were tiiJ^pcrscd, iiraty by tliv lord pruvost^ ^Lud 

Jbr ITigh Trtaton* 

A*D. 1794- 


i Ir. 




^ lie says the object 
vvas^ to keep up a 
It societies in 
lie understood 
Ui t lo be for the 
y, in order to (Hs- 
>^ coulmcled; to re> 
i in dlstreaa^ and hke- 
^>i Ds€9 of sending dole- 
Ato In a Q^w coQvimtion. lie says^ it was 
GkcwiM tfllked of, that the money collected 
lou to bujr political publications; and that 
iM»lhe7 purpose of Uie committee was, to col- 
ha the »«i>IJments of the friends of reform 
il milblJUKie, 90 as to know what their views 
qhj^cU were, some dunking universal 
too violent a demand ; aJid a good 
«if *' ' il;, as to 


Tbc tilu^) wnij'j^v, Nva-s \* uij.iiu burning, a 
tfhiw>ttiiatley, a i&cmber, and the clerk of a 
WxaelxoftlM Friends 'i ?»• ?*eopk at the 
"■ gf Ltilh- He , that about 

PQC^t aftr r tlif di' thr llri- 

Coo^et IV 

■OdMLir ' ' ,^. ■ - ■ • m:,. tic'e 

rfUfiioii. the object of which was, to carry on 
tlM|purpocc8 of refonu, by an application to 
■KtiMsent. He re mem berg also, of there 
Wuiga coUeciur appoinrcd, whose business 
«■% 10 a»lloct the &entunents of friends as to 
nhnm^ and to collect money for the rchef of 
M ^-*. L% and other *uch personss in di*- 

t* Kit the monc^ was to be applied 

1;^ UM? c<'[iimittee of rmon, 
' Anibitf M'Ewan, the fouilh witness, is a 
<■'*' ^ -'th ind a member 
of the Peo- 
- ..ic uf the dele- 
uj the Committee 
I iidcd the meetings 
I the house of George 
iluit thid Committee of 
Vviom €kmhQ a ^ub- commit tee of seven, and 
tliBt th^te were Mr. 5luke, Mr. Burke^ Mr, 
Watt, Btr. Ailcheson, Mr. Downie, Mr. Ooii- 
, and bitntelt; nnd that the' busiuess of 

\' to pay 
— *-, lug, and 

Mil iniiiMa, Is WilUam Bonlbrone, 

, ^rv\ t rr^^frihpr of the society 

i^le at Broughtoii, 

ly i>enl delegates 

I, and tliat he was 

ewise one of tlie 

^d hifi account of 

c the same with 

, I 

uciibcs uien- 

uer* was un- 

1 for the 

ver mo- 

10 i>t under the 

tAauunation of these 

if a aooety 

ptm MOt hjf th;< 

Mf thml con 

witnesses* you would perceire, gentlemen^ ^ 
that the prosecutor put Uh questions in surJi ' 
a manner, aa to ! ' ; ', ' i 

g;reatdeatof w: i' 

its being an objtxi ui urmj tuuinii[iLt.>j^ lu rui* 
lect money ; but I tliink 1 can nio^i »ucces^ 1 
fully meet him upon that head ; and when,! 
you shall fairly consider the evidence, I anp { 
confident, gentlemen, that you will be of n»y j 
opinion. f 

1 believe you will rr udilv admit, that thgi 
collecting oftnoney -' cr be criminaVl 

or, on the other hau y innocent, aqii 

cording to the purpose for which it was iutendn 
ed. You know very well, that for a numb^j 
of years past, the object of obtaining a reform^! 
has been pursued by many societies, in manjf 1 
^r' and whde it ifT 

; ] and coustitu^l 

iiuuai iiu;;tu>^ HUJIU f-Hii m: mj rOOm for anj 

blame or censure. Men may differ in opinion 
as to the neccniUy of reform . but their righ^ 
to seek it in a Ic^at way cannot be qiieUioned^l 
In order, however, to carry tbrnnf^h and t<f j 
support the fuir and legal appl r ihifH 

purpo*€^ a fund is requisite foi . ^ ^^#1 

unavoidable expense ; and accordmgiy^ cvtiri 
since the idea of a reform has existed, tlicrc' 
ba4^ nut been a society for that purpose* in anj 
part of the khigdooi^ that haj not coll^te4 
Mch small sums, a,^ they were severally ahj^ j 
to contribute, for bearmg their share of that | 
expense; and it will not surclv be eitld, tha| 1 
in doing this, there was any thing either en* J 
minal or improper, | 

But you wUl, perhaps, be told, centlcnricQ, J 
that in this Committee of Union, ihe collect* j 
ing money could be for no such fair antt ] 


.!.. i , ... ' ' :.,'■, 1 ■ 'I ■ ; 1 ,', ;;i-- 

burgh havmg been djspcr^d by tiie civaI maf j 
gi^tralp, M» this subsequent meeting, undef I 
the name of a rommiltce of l' nion^ could ool J 
have *m view to collect money for ajjy just o^ | 
legal purpose. 

I rau&t confess, gentlemen, that I do pqI J 
in the least feel citlw * Lice or Itie forcfj 

of this reasoning. '1 1 11 by parharneial j 

could not in the leaM ut^^rct^^ prevent nor ren# 
dor illegal , a renewal ol the application in 4 
constitutional way. Are these people to h% I 
held criminal for thinking that they were a| I 
liber ly to apply again to parhament for a re* j 
drcbs of llioi^c grievances, of which theyi 
thought they had reason to complain ? Nay, j 
further* it they sliould have thought that aa j 
applitation to the House of Commons was in J 
vain, what m'as there in law, to hinder theni 
lo petition the king ? VVhat is there lo hin» 
der any subject or set of subjects in lbi» I 
realm to petition the king, if Ihev do so in » 
dutiful and loyal manner I I hold it as an in* I 
hcrent principle in our constitution, and £| 
will mamtain it to be the unquebtiooabl^ 
birthright of every British Bubject, to go 15^^ 
the foot of the thMiae, and dutifolly to ^etip^ 



34 GEORGE m. 

tion his «>vereiff:n. This has been mentioned 
AS one view which these meetings had ; and 
vrlll it be sjiid, that this could be criminal r 
Can any one presume to blame this ? Or to 
! ^ay, that a petition lo our most gracious sove* 
Tcign is to be interpreted into a design to 
compeJ and coerce hiro, or to be constnicd 
mto a treasonable purpose ? 

We are told, inaeed, that a reform was but 
the ostensible pretext ; and that while these 
flocieties and meetmgs held out, that they 
were to support the constitution, as estab- 
lished in King, Lords, and Commons, yet all 
this was no belter than a mere dbgiiise, and 
that at bottom, nothing else was meant, but 
to pull down the king, and destroy the consti- 
lulion. I cannot believe, however, gentlemen, 
that sil ting as a jury, you will think yourselves 
entitled to form any such conclusion, in the 
facp,and directly against the plain meaning of 
^ords, and the fair expressions of these decla- 
rations. If there truly was any such wicked 
purpose, it could only be in the secret minds 
•»r a few wicked men, enemies of their coun- 
try : and I am confident, you will not, for a 
moment entertain the belief, that ttiosc nume- 
rous |>er9ons who composed these different so- 
cieties^ were acting throughout under a mask^ 
and had nothing else in their view, bat the 
everthrow of the constitution and government 
df this country. I will be bold to say, yoti 
mre not warranted, and cannot, in good con- 
iciencc, allow yourselves to give effect to such 
Rn idea, nor lo'pul so harsh and unfair a con- 
Atruction upon the intentions of the friends 
•f reform, m opposition lo their owd clear, 
explicit, and solemn declarations. 

And, in order to be compleatiy satisfied of 
this, I must request you will attend lo the 
evidence you have this day lipard, as to the 
mmount of the money collected by this com- 
mittee of Union, All the witnesses mention, 
^ that it wa^ ■' ^^'^T^lylriffmg,and that it con- 
sisted chif v pence, paid at the meet- 
^kigs by the ^.; members. William Bou- 
I throne in particular, says, that very little mo- 
I »ey was collected, and that the whole object of 
I the collectioa was, for discharging some triHing 
I liebt already contracted ; and that after paying 
' this, the rest was to be applied for relieving 
I Win. Skirving, who was in a very necessitous 
iituation ftfiir the banishment of ber hus- 
[ l>and ; and for defraying the expense of send- 
ing a delegate to a new convention. The 
iirery largest sum, if it eaii dcirerve the name 
I ©f large that at any^ into the hands 
^ of the committee «. surer, was 15/. 
[sent from Perth by \. c>., i ...ular, whom you 
[ ikeard examined as a wttuess; and he trliK 

• IfCtXi. t\i',i\ it u^^w rnTl* rtrrl. rin<l '-.i-nl '^.ili^'Jv i\^r 


Heed ia cauipleuJy (idiculyud. It W4& cvi- 

Trial of David Domig [148 

dently a collection for no other purpose what- 
ever, llian to defray the little incidental ejc* 
penses attending their meetings, and for giv- 
ing some little a»d to some of tTieir friends in 
distress, such as the wife of that unhappy 
man Skirving. 

That was the utmost extent to which It 
went: and^ou will attend also, gen tlemeD, 
to the description and situation of those per- 
sons who wen? to orerthrow the constitution 
by force and by arms. Who were the persons 
that you are to suppose, were carrying on 
this darinij and criminal design I — Yoti hare 
seen them before you this day; 'and I fancy 
you will admit, that they were, for t>;e moat 
part, of as low and poor a description as ever 
were protluced in any place whatever. Where 
then was the money to come from ? It coulcf 
not be from these poor people themselves ; 
and therefore, you have no alternative, but 
eillicr to suppose thai they had here some 
secret and unknown fond, or that a supply 
was to come from England or from France ; 
or you must conclude, that no treasonable 
destgn was ever seriously in view, and that the 
whole has been a mere imagination and chi*- 

Had it been discovered, that these people 
had considerable sums in their hands, or had 
it been traced out that they had supplies from 
some other quarter, or in short any fund that 
could look like bringing about so great an ob^ 
ject as overturning the constitution, there 
mi^ht at least be some belter colour for sup- 
posing such 3 design. But it is admittea, 
tfiat there is not the least reason for suppos- 
ing that they had any fund, or any supply, 
excepting what they collected amongst them- 
selves; and when yon see how very trifling, 
paltry, and incon&idcrahle this was, I presume 
you Will have no hesitation in being fully sa- 
tisfied, that it could never be collected for the 
purpose of overturning government, and that 
it could never be meant for anv ihing else, 
than for carrying throagh the object of re- 
form in a fair anu constitutional way, 

T cannot quit this subject, without taking 
notice of a curious circumstance, which coulS 
aol escape your attention ; I mean, the person 
who, we are lo suppose, was employed as the 
ambassador of this Committee of Uniooi lo 
travel over the country in order to form asso* 
cifttion^ for overturning the stale. You have 
seen thi?. saii' ' iflor, Mr. John I'airley, 
and you havi n examined, and from 

his situation in me, nis appearance, and hit 
demeanour, you wiU con^Jde^ how Jar lie i» 

SUr*- •' - «..r.Kf fr- -' •■-! with N» 

ill' I t man 

.1 I ... id 





. .Un 

K uig, U»rd^;mdCauaffiOii:^ uiouc coiuuiQU ILUD* 

lo accom- 
' empire. 

jQf High Treason, 

WIS the reconipcnce given to lliia 

ciitial miaister, this nccociator, who 

'i the latid, in order to 

t hines ? Why, geiiU^men, 

icc, Ujal il was no more 

s sterling I Surely the 

__ ^»*o»v ^i which diplomatic history 

liiniish an ex^unplc. He goes from place 

fruin Mjrii Iv in ^ik 

trnll - ; ,_, ,and most 

lOUd uo^ertakmgy he m return receives,— 
I? — ^I'hc CDormous reward of fifteen shil- 

it, gentlemen, you could go into 6o 
in ioejiy us to suppose, that such a per* 
Id be employed on such a mission^ and 
- i A recompencc, can you for a moment 
iTO it possible, that t h eCom m i t tec, if they 
had entertained such wicked and 
designs, could be so mad and so ab- 
eotnist to him so iraportanl and dan- 
gaovt a ne^iation ? It is indeed too ridi- 
adous to »dmit, even for a moment, of your 
bdacl*; ftod affords only an additional demon> 
tffitaoOy tkftt the holt and only purpose, which 
tiie eocQtoittee hod in sending Fairley was, to 
ttOect the seniusenu of the Friends of the 
?eopI» as to the extent of reform in which 
ihey would agree^ and to obtain some little 
|<cooiafy ' >c through. 

1 cooie M . in the third place 

Idcooiider ta^i piun oi seizing the Castle, the 
bisk«t ^^^^ other public offices In this city ; 
«&d which is held out in the indictment, as an 
eiffi Act of caropassing ut imagining the 
idcmili of the king. It is unnecessary for mc 
In fc£oiicit to you what were mentioned by 

A. a 1794. 


Ibfl wiiJie*'*-^ to hint lc€n the different ob- 
jmU « ^1 have heard how 

ihnf d* ler the prisoner at 

lite \mt httti ioij to i\, 1 shall aAer- 

wmh c<vTT* in the mean while, as to 

the ^Ui Aiu sure ^^ou will agree with 

ibe lo -, that it is one of the most 

wiU, fcb'uiU, Liiid un|«racticablc schemes, that 
€H9 cntirrcd into the tnincl of even the most 
nd could never seriously 
hy any roan of conmioD 


It ts iin( 
mke JUiy h^ 
lKiil««d in 
lo Witig thr 


I, to understand or 
n, A firo was to 
lily; and this was 
I he Castle, Then 
ati<l «eize the Castle , 
!ihc offices were to be 
the whole govern- 
iicre were the peo- 
' Have you any 
rce ready to rise, 
•> - - ' - :!or 


.._ had 
lo such 

' "^ 

this marvellous i»lan executed, whereby the 
government of tnis country was to be taken 
ty surprise? It was to come from Jiobody 
knows where — and to be done by Clod knows 
whom, ThisisreallysocomplettI ' ' =, 
that it puts<»nc in mind of Mr. J; ^^ 

play, who fir^t conceals an army ni iviiii:>us- 
fcridge, and then brings it to the door indis- 
guise. In short it is a mere phantom, gentle- 
men; the mere dream of panic-struck niinds;. 
It is a scheme so whimsical and romantic, 
that it never could exist in the mind of any 
person whatever, unless, perhaps, in the dis-* 
tempered brain of the unhappy man Watt^ 
who was condemned ia this place yesterday. 

Nay, I do not eveii believe, that it was ever 
seriously entertamed by him : and X must be 
allowed to form a conjecture, which appears 
to me by no means uostipportcd by proof. 
You see, gentlemen, this Mr, Watt, in the end 
of the year 1792, and during a considerable 
part of the year 1793, going lo the lord advo- 
cate, and lo Mr. Dundas, the secretary of state, 
with a view to give them information of plots 
and dangerous meetings in this countr)\ You 
find him giving an account of plots, which 
never had an existence, and giving information 
of the disaffection of troops, where no di&afiec* 
tion had ever prevailed. In short, you find 
him creating imaginary plots, in order to give 
himself consequence and lo obtain money. 

Having been unsuccessful in these attempts, 
and still desirous of pursuing the same object, 
he writes lo the secretary of state, and like- 
wise to the lord advocate, pretending that 
he wanted 1,000/. for a man who could make 
I a discovery of great importance. I presume, 
?entlcmen, you will be satisfied, tlial if there 
Bad been any such important discovery to be 
made, Mr, VVall would not have failed lo bring 
it to light or to produce or point out the person 
who could disclose it* But the whole was i 
downright fiction ; for neither the plot nor th . 
man existed, nor were ever more heard of_5^ 
and Mr, Watt finding that he could neithe 
obtain the 1,000/. nor get some post, which i|*l 
appears he had likewise sol icilctl ; and l&nd<^f 
ing all his efforts ineffectual and abortive^/ 
he then goes and connects luinself inortti 
closely with the Friends of the l^eople; an4j 
I do bcbeve, that if he had known or found! 
any persons seriously adopting tliis ndicidou* j 
scheme of seizing the Castle, ike. he would I 
have gone to the lord advocate, and hava] 
said, " Here is the important discovery t| 
mentioned to you, and I hope I bball now oh»J 
tain my reward/* 

In snort, gentlemen, I leave this conje 
turc to your consideration . but, forioy owiti 
part, I cannot help tfiinkmg, that this wild ' 
and ridiculous plan was never even seriousl/ j 
Ihoucht of by Walt himself; iiud that he wa«^ 
merely Iryin"?; tt* 'iraw weak and ignorant 
men into a sceniiui; adoption of it« and then, j 
lo make a sacnfitc of them to his own sordid ' 
and avaricious views. 
But; gentlemen^ I have really oo oe:asioti ! 



Trial of David Downie 


to inquire, what were the views and inten- 
tions of Mr. Watt in this scheme; for unless 
you can connect Mr. Downie with the plan. 
It does not sigpify what it was ; and you will 
therefore consider, whether there be any evi- 
dence to bring it home to him, or to show that 
he bad any accession, or gave any approba^ 
tion to it. 

Tliere are only two witnesses who say any 
thing as to this, and these are Arthur 
M'Ewan, and William Donthrone, both of 
them members of the Sub-committee of Ways 
and Means; and who were both present, 
upon the single and only occasion when this 
plan was produced by Watt. They describe 
very particularly every thing that passed at 
that time. They mentiou, that it was not a 
regular meeting of the committee, which met 
only on fixed nights of the week ; nor was it 
held at the house of George Ross, wliere they 
Alwavs met. It was an accidental meetine at 
the house of Watt himself, who had asKed 
them to come and take a glass with him, with- 
jout the least notice or intimation, of his 
having any such plan to bring under their 

Now, gentlemen, there is one circumstance 
liere to ht remarked, and unon which more 
depends than you may at nrst be aware of, 
and which is, that there is not only no evi- 
deuce before ^^ou, there ever was the smallest 
notice previously given, that at this meeting 
in Watt's house, any such plan was to be 
proposed; but you have clear evidence to 
prove the very reverse. They met there, 
either for conviviality and pleasure, or at least 
for no other business than answering or 
writing some letters respecting the cause of 

At this meeting, the company consisted of 
Mr. Stoke, Mr. Downie. Mr. M«Ewan, Mr. 
Bonthrone, and Watt himself; and while 
tliey were drinking their glass. Watt goes to 
a cabinet, and takes out a paper, which he 
brings in his hand, and reads to them, with- 
out any preface or previous notice, and with- 
XMi any of tliem, or, so far as appears, any 
person else, having ever heard of it before. I 
say there is no evidence, nor even an attempt 
to prove, that any of the company ever did 
hear of it before ; and if there is no evidence 
that they ever did hear of it before, you are 
most certainly bound to hold, that they never 

In this manner, you have the paper con- 
taining this strange plan, brougnt out by 
Watt from bis cabinet, and read by him. 
Whether it was of his own hand-writing or 
not, do«js not appear ; but it seems to liave 
been understood to be his. Now, gentlemen, 
observe what passed. Did Mr. Watt enter 
seriously into a discussion of this plan, in 
order to show the practicability of it, to ex- 
plain where they might get money or numbers 
to support it, or to suggest those different 
means by ^^^<^h it might be accomplislied ? 
liQ. Not a single s^UiRileof soy such thing, 

but all at once, he produces this mighty plan* 
and reads it, not at one of the usual meetings 
of the committee, but at an accidentaljmeeting 
at his own house. If he seriously wished for 
the approbation of the committee, any man 
in his common senses, would not have brought 
it forth in this cxtraordinarv and unexpected 
manner ; but would before nave had it in his 
pocket, and have sounded every member indi- 
vidually, previous to his producing it to the 
whole,"^ assembled together. 

And you will particularly remark, what 
the two witnesses, Arthur M'Ewan and 
William Bonthrone, tell you as to what then 
passed. M'Ewan says, he immediately ob- 
jected to the plan ; and that Bonthrone backed 
him, but that Downie said nothing, so far as 
he remembers, nor Stoke. 

This is what M'Ew^ says ; but Bonthrone 
mentions more particularly, that upon hear- 
ing the paper read, M'Ewan said, he could 
not approve, nor go into any plan that was to 
create confusion, and to shed the blood of his 
countrymen. And Bonthrone, as he tells 
you himself, was so struck with the thing, 
that he had scarce power of recollection any 
farther than to second M'Ewan, by saying, 
No, no ; by no means. He farther tells jrou, 
that neither Mr. Downie nor Mr. Stoke said a 
single word upon the subject, but were per- 
fectly silent. And both M'Ewan and Bon- 
throne agree in this, that there was not a 
word farther passed. Mr. Watt, finding the 
paper thus disapproved of, took it away with- 
out any thing more, locked it up in his cabi- 
net, put the key in his pocket, and said not 
another syllable upon the subject. 

This, gentlemen, is the fair amount of the 
evidence of M'Ewan and Bonthrone; and 
upon the account they give, which is the 
only one you have ot wliat then passed, I 
think you are not only to put the natural and 
just construction, but I think you are bound 
to put the construction most favourable for 
the prisoner at tlie bar. Let me suppose, that 
this had been a regular meeting of the com- 
mittee, and this paper or plan was brought 
forward by one of the members, after which, 
without being supported by any body, it is 
instantly opposed by another member, and his 
objection immediately seconded. Now, here 
then is a meeting consisting of five, one of 
whom makes a motion, which, instead of 
being seconded, is immediately opposed, and 
that opposition as immediatclv backed. The 
other two members remain silent ; and what 
is the conclusion to be drawn from their si- 
lence? Is it not plainly and unequivooinT 
this, that they do nut support the original 
motion, but concur in and approve of the op- 
position to it } 

Had not Mr. Watt, the mover of the bun- 
ness, fully understood this to be the case, he 
would have called for their opinions, and if 
thev had concurred with him^ he would have 
hacf the msyority. But he either was not st 
ail scriousy or at Icftst found he could g«t M 


for High Treason. 

A. D. I't94. 


support; and, therefore, vnthout any thin? 
more, he replaced the paper in his cabinet, and 
said not another word upon the subject. Nay, 
ftrther, had not Downieand Stoke totally dis- 
approved, we shotild have found them arm- 
ing in support of the scheme, and combating 
the objections of M'Ewan and Bonlhrone, 
wliereas they at once acquiesce, and Mr. Watt 
standing single, the scheme was totally re- 

You will also attend to this, gentlemen, 
that this plan was never agun brought for- 
ward by Watt at any other time, nor upon 
aoT other occasion. It never had been heard 
of before, nor was it ever heard of after ; and 
Bonthrone has told you, that he never con- 
ceived it as a plan proposed in a serious way, 
but considered it as a kind of frenzy ; and he 
addf, that the committee never would have 
adopted such a plan. In short, this ridicu- 
Join plan never made its appearance, except- 
ing upon the single and solitary occasion 
which has been mentioned ; and then Mr. 
Downie, in place of acceding orgivinj^any 
support to it, did, on the contrary, acquiesce 
ana concur in its absolute rejection. 

And here, gentlemen, I must be pardoned 
for troubling you with reading one other pas- 
sage from Mr. Justice Foster, because it is 
exceedingly applicable to the particular now 
aader consideration. It is, where he is speak- 
ing as to what the law holds an assent to any 
overtures for compassing the death of the 

He says, " If a person be but once present 
it a consultation for such purposes, and con- 
cealeth it, having had a previous notice of the 
design of the meeting, this is an evidence 
proper to be left to a jury of such assent, 
though the party say or do nothing at such 
consultation, the law is the same if he is pre- 
sent at more than one such consultation, and 
dotii not dissent or make a discovery ; but in 
the case of once foiling into the company of 
oonspiraton, if the party met them acciden- 
laUy, or upon some indifferent occasion, bare 
concealment, without express assent, will be 
but misprision of treason." 

From this you sec, that the circumstance of 
a person being once present at a treasonable 
consultation, and there neither saying nor 
doing any thing, does not fix a crime upon 
him, unless he had previous notice of the de- 
sign of the meeting; but if a person be pre- 
sent a second time at such consultation, he is 
held to lie himself guilty, unless he doth ex- 
presslv dissent or make a discovery. The law 
thereiore is, that the being only once present 
at soch a meeting, without there giving any 
express assent, does not infer the crime, unless 
he had previous notice of the purpose of the 
meeting; aud I am sure you will be under no 
diflicolty of applying this to the circumstan- 
ces of tlie present case. 

You have most satisfying evidence, that no 
pi^^Hnis notice, nor intimation, nor even hint 
"f nny kmd, was ever given cither to Mr. 

Downie or any one else, that such a plan or 
paper was to be brought before them. It was 
never heard of, nor mentioned before, but 
Watt brought it out upon them by surprise. 
Nay, farther, gentlemen, I do not think that 
the matter rests merely ujwn Mr. Downie's 
having given no assent; for it is perfectly 
clear, that he did actually dissent, as, instead 
of giving any countenance or support to the 
plan, he at once acquiesced, in its rejection. 
When in any meeting, a proposal or motion is 
made by any member, and not seconded by 
any body else, it is presumed to be rejected 
by all the rest, even although none are at the 
trouble of speaking in opposition to it ; but 
when it is actually opposeu, and that opposi- 
tion seconded, then, if nobody supports the 
mover, the conclusion that all the rest concur 
in disapproving of the motion, is certain and 
infallible. And together with all this, you 
will remember what an idle, absurd, and ridi- 
culous plan this was, not meriting any serious 
attention, but, as I think, brought forth by 
Watt, with the treacherous design of inveig- 
ling and ensnaring others. 

I might here otlcr some remarks upon the 
evidence of John Fairley, by which, tliere was 
some attempt made to connect Mr. Downie 
farther with the absurd plan of seizing the 
Castle ; but T shall reserve saying any thing 
as to this till afterwards, and shall now beg 
leave to go to another point, and which is, 
the making of the pikes or arms, those horri- 
ble weapons which you had this day exhibited 
to your view, and cannot be presented, with- 
out impressing the mind witii horror and in- 
dignation at those who could be employed in 
such a business. 

And here, gentlemen, I am sure I need not 
tell such intelligent persons as you are, that 
in trying the present case, you are carefully 
to divest your minds of every prejudice, and 
to lay aside every impression that may have 
arisen from your hearing of, or from your be- 
holding these weapons. — ^I'here are many ru- 
mours, also, which yuu may have heard 
without doors, and many an account of atro- 
cious plots, that never had an existence. It 
is difficult, I know, to guard against the influ- 
ence of such prepossessions; but, on that ac- 
count, it becomes only the more your duty to 
be watchful, and to permit nothing but the 
evidence you have heard this day, to enter 
into your mind, when you arc entrusted with 
the life of your fellow citizen. 

In what I am thus taking the liberty of 
saying, I am only following what was much 
better expressed by the honourable judee, 
who presides in this court, and who, in his 
excellent and candid charge to the grand jury, 
told them, they were not to allow any pre- 
possessions, nor any cxtraneoub nmtter what- 
ever, to impress their minds in the smallest 
dcKTCC, but to throw aside all prepossession, 
aim to consider singly aud only the evidence 
that was brought before them. This was tho 
wise caution the honourable judge gave tot&v^^ 


34 GEORGE m. 

Trial of David Downie 


Qd jury, and I hope 1 shall not be thought 
doing wrong, \u enueavourlng to impress it 
upon your minds. The gmnd jury had no- 
thing more to do, tlmn to consider whether 
there was sufhcient ground for sending the 
matter to trml ; but yoU| gentlemen, have a 
much more important charge, for you have 
now tlic life of the prisoner in your hands, 
and, in dbcharginj; Umt moht momentous 
duty» you musl^ an3 I am sure you will, be 
careful to let nothing enter into ygur consider- 
ation but the evidence brought before you. 

With regard to the circumstance of mak- 
ing these arms, I will endeavour to state to 
you tbe substance of the evidence; and I 
trust I shall do it fairly. The first witness is 
WilJiam Urrotk, a smith, who was a member 
of Uie society of the Friends of the People, at 
the Water of Leith, and one of their delegates 
to the CommiUce of Union. 

He gives you a history of these pikes frqm 
the bcgimitng, and mentions, thdt being one 
day in some place reading the newspapers, 
stmebody there said, he heard arms had come 
down for the Goldsmiths hull gentlemen. 
Upon tbis, some other person said, they 
should apply also for aniis; but thereupon, 
Mr. Walt, who was present, said they would 
not get them, but that he knew no law in ex- 
istence to hinder them from getting arms for 
Iheroficlvcs, Orrock mentions, that then the 
conversation turned upon the report of an in- 
vasion, and said he thought he could make a 
weapon for liimself. — There the matter seems 
to have droppe<i, but Orrock tells you tliat 
sometime thereafter, he did make a weapon 
for himself. 

Orrock next tells you, of his being one day 
sent for by Watt to come and speak to him 
in the house of Arthur M*Ewan at the Water 
of I^ith, and he then told Walt what kind of 
weapon he had made, rpon this, W^att said, 
a dirterent one would be better, and accord- 
ingly Orrock made one agrccuble to Watt's 
directions, After this, he brought up both 
tliat which he had made for himbclf, and that 
which he had made for W^att, to the house of 
George Ross where the Committee of Union 
usually met. He says he did not show them 
to the Committee of Union, but that there 
wats another room where others wore met, and 
where he says Downie was present, To tliis 
company he showed those weapons, and 
somebody made a drawingof an improved form, 
and he says he was desired, ami as he thinks, 
both by Wall and Downie, to keep Ihatdrawfng 
in his view in making any more. He next tells 
you, that after he had left the room, and be- 
lore he quitted the house, Walt came to him, 
and repeated the same directions, and that 
Downie was then along with Walt; and ho 
farther says, that afterwards Watt came to 
liim at his own hoi»- ^sircd bicn lo 

make towards tlirc<* «l. i m. 

r .\VD, Ukg- 
^* , by the 

Otiii'js vi i>ii. V'l attj ijc Luau^ i ounce n pikes of 

one kuid, and one of anottier kind, and 

brought them all home to Watt. ti(K>n ask* 
ing payment, W^att said, he was sorr>^ he had 
not money then to give him, but the witness 
mentioning that he needed money at the time> 
Walt said, that although he had not tlien 
money himself, he would get it from another 
persoD, and accordingly he wrote, and gave 
nim an order upon Downie for the money ^ 
ivhich was l/, 2s. Od. This order did not in 
the least mention what the money was for, 
and when Brown went to Downie and got the 
money, he tells you, that he did not sty a 
single" word to Downie as to what the money 
was for, nor did Downie ask him. It was an 
order in the same way, as if Watt had beea 
borrowing the money from Downie. 

The imrd witness is Margaret Whttecrosi^ 
who was maid servant inDownie*s house la&t 
winter and spring, and she tells you, that on% 
morning she saw in her master's dining-room^ 
somethmg, which the prosecutor would have 
you suppose was one of those pikes. She 
says, that the night before, her mastar had 
been abroad at supper, and was rather late of 
coming home. \\' ith a candle in her hand, 
she opened the door and let Inm in, but she 
does not sav that she perceived any thing in 
his hand, althou|h, surely, one of those pikes 
was not a thing that could be hid from a girl's 
eye with a cantlle in her hand. Next morninff 
early, she goes into the dining room, and 
there she sees something lying, which she 
neither touched, nor took in her hand, nor 
liardly ever looked at; and Mr. Downie's sen 
came out of an adjoining closet, when bo 
heard her in the room, and took the thing 
away. She says, she heard her mistress allt r- 
waids call it a dividing- knife. But she never 
saw it either before or after the time t*he men- 
tions, and saw it then so very slightly, that 
she is exceedingly indistinct in her account of 
It. She was asked whether it Wkis like anj 
of these now lying upon the table, and 
that she could say was, that it mij^ht be lih 
it; although, gentlemen, none ot these hav^ 
any resemblance to a dividing-knife; and In^ 
deed they arc so pecuhar in their appearanca 
that if what she saw in her master's dining 
room had been one of them, she could not^ 
have forgotten it. 

Now, genllemen, you will consider whethe 
this can fairly be held, as hxing upon Mr^ 
Downie any connexion with those p'L'^' 
does not pretend lo say, tliat slir 
Downie brmg it home, nor did sh* 
him have it m his hand, nor can sh<_ > liiail 
he ever knew of sucii a thing hein i 
house. Can you believe, that if j^ n J 

one of those pikes, Mr. Downie v^ e 

been so imprudent as lo have left it in the 
open dini ng- root n' And ifil had be^n one 
ofth.. ' ^' ■ ' ^ ■ ' r 

givri ^ 

to V J 
jnotc f 


Jot nigh Trcasotu 

tnft «iad catiee«!!og these weapons, it ts not to 
b« iktilvtft)^ tltat n inimbcr of them would 
lui^e hcen found there; and yet, ^eatle- 
mctif vDii have the roost satisfactory evidence, 
ihtt atihongh a strict se^cb was tnade, not 
»vii^ one was found there, 

* * ■ I and Middleton, the two sheriff- 
L : been examined as witnesses, and 

%D€y win d'^ee that none of the pikes were 
Imm^ en Ikvwnie's house. Miadtcton, in 
sajrs, that the search in Walt's 
wais made upon Thursday, 15th May, 
i»n i w* v. f at DJghl and one in the morn- 
; u: liic search in Downie's house 

* n. ery next day; and although 

I'lites in Watt's house, they found 
I wnie's. Is it Hkely, then, gentle- 
ieB» iliat Mr Downie should have been pos- 
tamA ^jf tho*»e weapons, and yet not so 
liidi ' <^ of their being either about 

wmv^ ■ juse.^ 

[ Bi^wn tciJsyou, that all those which were 
by him, he carried home to Walt, 
Agtio made by Orrock, were seized 
Ihejf were still in Orrock's own posses- 
The sheriff-officers tell you, that al- 
Jb ibcy made the strictest search, yet 
could find oo such thing in Downie*s 
Excepting^ therefore, the loose and 
CTidence of Margaret Whilecross, 
llie iBtid«»^n*antf you have nothing, gentle- 
meOf litat t^ive room even for a suspicion that 
Miyooe or them ever was tn his houses and 
ifte, mtA only SDeaks of what she tsaw, as a 
'og lolaJly unlike those pikes, but she does 
prvlftirj to say, that she ever saw Mr. 
borne, nor take it away, nor, 
V connexion with it whatever, 
know very well, that gold- 
Downie, generally have a 
" ^hcir own house, and no- 
r them than to have old 
'it I, i^r such arms, from 
il they find of any 
filue. vv might not Mr. 

Duva^ Ri have some old 

^nnpcm in : , which might be, 

nlHlt t- ervant alludes to, 

^Mu lie. Why upon 80 

Mcoi inci a descrintion, are 
foc t» it was actually one of 
ilMSe (ms who 

kpi^r , swords, 

, uni; lU^LTLr'j ij uc hard and 

tj]d<^d, to from thence, 

f Ir^'* •' * " ' lible purpose. 

la tftibn, you cau lay 

l»i™^ , ., .ague evidence 


Wc^ Doirzi 

at girl ; and Jis lo Uic only two 
'"I. ilnnvh itiid Orrotf^. it must 
one nor 
ininal to 
!cnce of 

BrciWD Hl\» you, thai it was Mr. Watt 
ikofi wbo emptied uid directed him to 

A. a 179*. [I5S 

make these pikes, and tliat no other person 
ever spoke to him upon the subject. He 
made them for Watt, and when they were 
made, he carried them home to Walt. Downtc 
was nol present when the order was given^ 
nor is there the least reason to suppose that 
he knew any th'mg at all of the matter. As lo 
the circumstance of Brown's receiving pay- 
ment from Downie, you have heard how i%_ 
happened. Wall, not having the money whe^ " 
Brown pressed for it, gave an order upod 
Downie for it; but that order did not expreal 
what the money was for ; and Brown expressij 
ly tells you, that he neither told Downit 
what it was for, nor did Downie ask hin.. 
In short, it was nothing more than the Irifliii^ 
sum uf 1/. 7m. 6(/. which Downie advanced fctfj 
Watt, without inquiring or knowing what 
was for ; and you have no reason lo suppos- 
and still less any right to conclude, that] 
Downie knew the money he thus advanced 
was for making pikes. 

Any thing said by Brown, therefore, docs no , 
in the most distant degree, affect Mr. Downie j 
and, as I liave shown that the evidence 
Margaret Whitecross ought to be totally dls^l 
regarded, so there is nothing else remaining 
as to these pikes but the single testimony < _ 
Orrock, the smith, who says he made towards^ 
three dozen of them for Mr. Watt, and who 
you will remark, having been thereby an 
complice in that business, is now a prisonef 1 
in the Cabtle of Edinburgh, and comes betbral 
you under the character of a Socius Criininix. 

I have already stated to you, gentlemen^] 
the substance of what this Mr. Orrock sayi»j 
and you will Judge what degree of credit you 
can give to his evidence- ^ ne making oft 
arms at all, seems to have originated from] 
himself, and from an id^ that other people 
as well as the Goldsmiths-hall genilemen 
were entitled lo have arms in case of an inv^H 
sion. He accordingly made one for himself;! 
and the intercourse afterwards about making ] 
more was entirely between him and Mr,J 
Watt. As to his afterwards bringing up two] 
to George Rose's, and showing them thcr 
one evening iii a company where Mr. Downie J 
was present, you will remark, he does noti 
say that he had been desired to do so, nor] 
that he had any sort of orders for these pikes^l 
either from the Committee ot Union, or fromj 
the Sub-Committee of Ways and Means. loi-] 
deed, you have not the least evidence, tliat] 
cither of those coraniiltecs did cverautho-l 
rize any such thing, or know any ihingj 
about the making these weapons : and yoiftS 
have not only no evidence, but you have not! 
even the shadow of reason to suppose, thafj 
Mr. Downie evet heard of, or knew any thi] ^ 
about the pikes, till they were accidentally j 
brought in the way I have mentioned, andj 
shown to the company in wtiich he happen 
to be at Ross's, 

The circumstance of some one in the com- J 
pany taking out n pencil, and sketching 
teller fornii might just as readily he " 



T4qI of David Dawnie 


amiiflement as from any thing else ; aiid the 
desiring Qrrock to keep that sketcli in liis 
view, might easily happen in the 8ani(e way. 
It is certainly no material circumstance 
against Downie, that he should chance a 
little while after, to be in a passage in 
Ross*s house, when Watt repeated something 
of the same kind to Orrock ; and it is of great 
importance for you to remarky gentlemen, 
timt, excepting upon this single occasion at 
George Ross's, there is not so much as a 
word in the evidence, cither of Orrock, or of 
any other witness, which can tend to sliow 
that Mr. Downio gave any orders, liad any 
concern, or knew any thing whatever regard- 
ing those pikes. In short, if ^ou are to fix 
any euilt upon him as to this business, it 
must t>e founded on the solitary testimony of 
Uiis Mr. Orrock, swearing to casual words 
passing at a tavern meeting, where Mr. 
Downie happened to be present. 

You will also have it in your view, gentle- 
men, that the law does expressly require either 
two lawful witnesses to each overt act, or one of 
them to one, and the other of them to another 
overt act of the same treason. Mow, even 
supposing, that this circumstance as to the 
pikes, could be held an overt act of the treason 
nere charged, which I tnibt I shall show you 
it cannot DC ^ and if you are satisfied also, 
that Orrock is the sing^lc and only witness, 
whose testimony tends in the least degree to 
afiect Mr. Downie, then I maintain, that this 
is not such evidence of an overt act, as the 
law demands. He is but a single witness, 
and I am sure he cannot be held a lawful or 
unsuspected witness, because lie is, by his 
own confession, an accomplice, or sochti cri- 
minii\ and if the gentlemen nn the other side 
should tell me, that one witness is sufficient 
to prove this overt act, because there are other 
overt acts proved by other witnesses, I give 
them this clear and satisfactory answer, that 
I flatly deny these other particulars to be in 
any decree such as can by law be held overt 
acts of the species of treason whidi is here 
charged, of compassing or imagining the 
death of the king. 1 Batter myself that I 
have already satisfied you of this; and, if I 
liavc, then this as to the pikes, even suppos- 
ing it an overt act, which I shall im- 
mediately show you it was not, it rests solely 
upon the evidence of Orrock, a single wit- 
ness, and one very far from being beyond 

And here, gentlemen, permit me to entreat, 
|hat you will calmly consider this business as 
to the pikes, and not let yuur minds be im- 
pressed by their frightful appearance, nor be 
flurried away by supposition and conjecture. 
Take every circumstance into your view, and 
then let me ask. If you can really conceive, 
that, in making these pikes, there cuuld be 
any serious object or purpose of overturning 
the constitution P Who were to use them r 
Itad the Committee of Union adopted them? 
By no means. For M*£wui ani) fionUuone 

not only say no such thing, but they in direct 
terms tell you that they never heard of arms. 
Did either the Committee of Union or the 
Sub-cominittee, know of the making these 
pikes, or order them ? No, they knew nothing 
of them. — You liave not only no evidence of 
their knowing of them, but you have evi-. 
dence that they did not. 

If evidence liad been brought before you, 
gentlemen, that these committees had expli- 
citly resolved to levy war to overturn the go- 
vernment, and, in pursuance of this, had or- 
dered these pikes or other arms to be pre- 
pared, there might then have been at least 
some better colour for the charge. But, gen- 
tlemen, you have no such proof before you ; 
and, on the contrary, the very members of 
tliese committees who have been examined as 
witnesses, do expressly swear, that they had 
no hostile intentions, and that they gave no 
onlers for arms, nor knew of any being pre- 
pared ; and if this be the evidence, are you to 
give way to mere suppositions and conjec- 
tures ? are you at liberty, gentlemen, to ima- 
gine and fancy plots and treasons without 
proof, and to presume these weapons intended 
for a wicked purpose, without so much as 
evidence that any such wicked purpose, 
was ever formed? 

Consider also, I pray you, what was the 
amount and number of the pikes that were 
made ? Towards three dozen were made by 
Orrock, and about fourteen bv Brown. In 
short, the number of the whole did not ex- 
ceed fifty ; and where was the fund to defray 
the expense of making more? Watt had not 
money to pay even the fourteen made by 
Brown ; and as to the money belonging to 
the committees, you have seen that it was 
not only trifling and scanty, but farther, tliat 
the committees had no concern with these 
pikes, and never either ordered or knew any 
thing about them. It was Watt, and Watt 
alone, who ordered them ; and it seems to 
have been, from beginning to end, one of hie 
own wild incoherent absurd chimeras, or very 
likely, a trcaclicrous and perfidious design, to 
forward his own avaricious views. Even if 
lie could liavo got funds for making a greater 
number of these pikes, he neither had nor 
could have got persons who would use them 
towards any hostile purpose ; and to suppose, 
\ therefore, that these pikes could be prepared for 
I the criminal and wicked purpose, of overturn- 
ing the constitution of Great Britain, is as 
ridiculous and extravagant, as to imagine, 
that his foohsh and unmeaning plan ot sei- 
zing the Castle uas ever seriously enter- 

Having said so much as to tliese pikes^ 
there is another particuUr as to which you 
had a number of witnesses examined, and 
whidi is the advertisement respecting the 
Fencibles. At the same time, 1 do not think 
it necessary for me to trouble you, with saviqg 
much upon it. You will remark that there 
is no mention whatever of it in the indicl- 


for High Treason. 

A. D. 1794. 


meni; and yet, by the statute of king Wil- 
h'jm, it is in tlie most direct terms enacted, 
•• That no evidence shall be admitted or 

Eiven ot'any overt act, that is not expressly 
lid iu the indictiueut against any person ur 
persons whj lever." 

it is perfectly clear, therefore, thit this 
canuot be admitted nor founded upon as an 
oven act, because it is not laid nor mentioned, 
iu the indictment ; and indeed, a nionient*s 
reflection muist at once satisfy you, tlrat even 
u it had been set forth in the' indictment, the 
very circum&t.ince itself could never come 
under the description of an overt act (if the 
treason charged. Indeed, I think it was 
most improperly introduced by the prosecutor 
and it ought to meet with no regard or atten- 
tion from you. 

As to the paper itself, you heard it 
read, and it certainly was of an improper na- 
ture, and such as I cannot by any means seek 
to justify ; but improper and even criminal as 
jxAi may view it, you will consider, in the first 
piace, huw Ur it is brought home to the pri- 
aooefy and, in the next place, what of!cnce it 
tdouuis tu ? You have no evidence, nor in- 
deed has it been attempted to be proved, that 
Mr. Downie was the author of it ; and as to 
his bavins; any concern in dispersing a few 
copies of It, L am sure that this, however im- 
proper, cannot with any reason be C4>nnccted 
with a charge of compassing the death of the 
kiaig. To Mduce any of his majesty's kbrces 
fran their duty, is certainly criminal; but it 
cmoot, in the eye of law or of common 
^ense, be deemed liigh treason. I am con- 
adeDty gentlemen, you will consider the mat« 
ter in ibb light, and will throw this particular 
CDtirely out of your view. 

1 had almost tbrgot to take notice of the 
evidence of John Fairley, the gentleman 
wauax I had occasion to mention to you for- 
Berly, as the ambassador sent through the 
CMiutry, by the sub-committee of Ways and 
Means ; but I do not think it will be requisiitc 
for me to detain you with many observations 
Lpon wliat Mr. Fairlcy says. 

He in substance tells you, that he was 
ffotng upon a visit to his sister, who w:ism;iid- 
cervant in a gentleman's family in Stirling- 
shire : but, wTietlier that was the real inteu- 
LK»a of his journey or not, is of no consr(|U(;nce. 
Ue was employeii, at the same time, to vibit 
ine friends of reform in different places, in 
c^r to know what were their sen ti men Is ; to 
inquire whether the cause was prospering or 
4i<.ca>ing ; to know who were attached to it ; 
t> learn what correspondence might be kept 
up, and what money might be expected. 
iLe^e were the sole objects for which Mr. 
iaiTtey was employed by the committee ; and 
irym what you saw of this same ambassador, 
I ca&QOt doubt you will be satisfied, that if 
i&y thing really criminal had been in the view 
4? the committee, he was not the person, 
«ham they wuuld have chosen to entrust 

vjtb tuch a negociation. Nay, even if the 

committee had been so absurd, I do not think 
the Friends of the People at a distance, would 
have been so wanting in common sense and 
prudence, as to liave committed themselves 
to him, or to listvc entrusted him with any 
treiisonable secn't. 

But, while the inquiries I have mr.ntioni>d, 
were ail which the commitloe liad in view; yet 
it appears, from what Fairley says, that he ro- 
ceivcd some other insli notions from Mr. 
Watt, and I beg you will allciid to the manner 
in wliich those wore given him. From thq 
committee he received no other instructions, 
but to m.ike the uiquiries I have already 
mentioned ; and, indeed, the committee had 
no other object in view. It was a perfectly 
fair object; for it had no other intent than 
carrying on the cause of reform, in a legal 
and constitutional way ; and Fairley was to 
get from Mr. Downie thirty shillings of the 
money belonging to the committee, in order to 
defray the expense of his journey. Thus far, 
the matter was the business of tlic committee ; 
but Mr. Watt desired Fairley, before he 
should set out, to call at the shoo of one Mr. 
Campbell, where there would be lying for 
him a parcel which he was to carrv along 
with him. Fairley accordingly called at 
Campbell^, and having got the parcel, set out 
jon his jdiuney. 

I think Fairley said, that Watt desii^ed him 
not to open the parcel, till he should come to 
Stirling, or some other place, and accordindv 
Fairley obeyed this. When, however, he did 
open the parcel, he found there a paper of in- 
structions written by Watt, and which men- 
tioned the foolish plan about seizing the Cas- 
tle, and other things of the hke kuid. This 
paper of instnictions, however, had never been 
read to, nor seen by the committee, but was 
entirely the opemliou of Mr. Watt alone. 
From 'what Fairley says, and from the evi- 
dence of Dr. Forrest, you sec how little en- 
couragement any such wild plan met with 
from the Friends of Uefurm at Stirling; and, 
indeed, they seem to have been spoken of 
there only in the slighlost manner ; fur Dr. 
Forrcbt tells you, that I'.iirlcy expressly said, 
the purpose for which he had been sent hy 
the (-(anmillee of Edinburgh, w;is in onlor to 
coiled some uioney for Mrs. Skirviiig, and 
other tViends that \* ere in distress. 

Fruni Stirling, Mr. F.iirlcy proceodid to 
Glasgow, Faisley.and other places, and then 
returned to Fdinhui^h. When he tame to 
town, he wont lir>t to his t ither'a house, 
and then wvui to iho cuinmittir, il hap- 
pening to he a nis^lit on wliicli he knew 
they usually uicl. \\ U^n ht: went llieie, 
he found \Valt, DiwiiiL-, and M^Kwaii. 
1 do not recollt:<l if h'' nicnlionod any body 
else; and you will particularly remark what 
then parsed. Had Ihr paper of inblrnclions 
been iriven to him by the toinmittee, or by 
authority of the conimiltee, surely the 
thing would have been for them to inquivi^ 
what he had dune ; and he would Ivwvi wv 


(^^ GEORGE 111. 

Trial of David Dowuie 


mediately puMcd out the paper from bis pocket 
and have given a lull accoanl of the success 
of hi« negodation, la place of this, what 
bappens ? He tells them, that he found the 
friends of reform in general^ hearty ; and he 
mentions every thing he had met with re- 
specting the objects which the committee 
had in view; but, instead of producing the 
paper of instructions, which he had received 
from Mr, Watt, he keeps it snug in his pocket, 
never brings it out, nor says a single word 
a^oiit it, during the whole evening. Nay. far- 
ther, he tells you, that be never produced 
them to the committee, either then or after- 
wards, but, in a day or two after, gave them to 
Mr. Watt himself. 

Nothing surely can more clearly demon- 
strate^, ttiiit the committee had no knowledge 
of, nor any concern with these secret instruc- 
ligns. They were purely and solely the ope- 
ration of Mr. Watt himself; and as they came 
from, so Uiey were given back to him alone, 
viihout the committee knowing any thing 
abottt the matter. In Questioning the witness 
indeed, a good deal ot weight was attempted 
to be laid upon the circumstance of this pa- 
per of instructions nmning in the name of the 
committee, and also upon the money given to 
IVirley being out of the fund^ of the com- 
mittee ; but I am confident you willat once see 
that there is nothing in tins. 

Mr. Walt would no doubt choose to make the 
paper run in that way; but his having chosen 
to do so, will never make that the paper of the 
committee, unless there be clear evidence that 
they knew and approved of it, Now, there is 
not only no evidence of this, but there is most 
satisfactory evidence of the contrary, And as 
lo the money, itis perfectly clear, that although 
men by the commiltee, vet it was only for the 
lair purposes which they had in view in sending 
ralrley, and not for any secret and criminal 
purposes*, such as those of Mr Watt U was 
otdy thirty shillings, of which Falrley having 
expended but fifteen, he offered back the re- 
mainder ; but the commiltee allowed him to 
keep it for his trouble. 

In short, gentlemen, it isevident, that there 
VfCTC two dUferent purposes, or two separate 
p:irts of Fairley's nii>sion, and you ought 
I carefully to distinguish between them- The 
^ one was a perfectly fair and a blameless pur- 
^pose; and it was to innuire what were the 
•*cntiments of the fricnus of reform, and to 
I know wh>it money might be obtained for car- 
•ryipg it on, in a legal and constitutionsil way ? 
I This was the sole object of the committee, 
and the only purpose tl ' ^ - -, » . i 
• rairley. The other wsis 
Watr* ow^n, kr--t t..i Ji 
' roinmiUoe, ai 
^can be in no ti- ^ ^ 

►eruuinal and wicked d 
^guilt uj»ou hiniself, bui 
Pt<* any other person who>ie >itci;A^ioii \o and 
'iipprobation of it, b not fully tnd cleat ly 
^frovcd* The trilliug turn given by the com- 

mittee to Faifley, is of itself a proof, that lltey 
could not have any thing cnm\nal in view; 
and you will remark, Fairley enpressl^' swears, 
tliat he never heard of the plan of seizing the 
Castle. &c. from any body but Mr. Watt. 

And now, gentlemen, having offered yovt 
these observations upon the evidence, I will 
beg leave shortly to remind you of what I 
stated as to those principles of law, which 
apply lo the present case, where the crime 
cWged is that species of high treason, the 
compassing or imagining the death of the 

It has long been the boast and the glor^ 
of the law of England, that of all species of 
guilt, that of treason has been defined with 
the most scrupulous exactness. It was fa 
this great purpose the statute of Edward 3rd 
was passea; and as often as, in succeeding 
and arbitrary reigns, new treasons had been 
created, these were a^a, in better time«, re- 
pealed, and the law of treason brought back tA 
the sundard of that ever to be revered statute. 
It is the great bulwark of our liberty, and the 
mighty protection, under the shield of whkb| 
the subject is secured against the violence or 
injustice of stale prosecutions. 

I stated to you, and I supported it by hig)i 
and unauestionablc authorities?, that althougfi 
a conspiracy to levy war, has in some cases 
been by con'-tmction held to amount to the 
crime of compassing and imagining the death 
of the king, yet this has been admitted only 
in certain circumstances, and a line of distinc* 
tiou has been taken, and the utmost aniiety 
shown, to prevent the carrying constructive 
treason beyond due bounds. That distmctlon 
has been taken from the object, or purpose of 
the conspiring to levy war. Where the pur- 
pose was sucn as directly and necessarily lo 
affect the life and safety of the person ^f th« 
king, it has been held to amount to a com-^ 
passing or imagining his death. W^here^ on 
the other band, the purpose has been to obfain 
some reformation, witnout pursumg the due 
methods of the law, then the mere purposing 
or designing to levy war, for that end, has iia| 
been held high treason. 

This is the hne of distinction, and these 
the boundaries, which the wisdom of the law 
has marked out. To transgress these boim- 
daries, and to overleap them, would be to con- 
found the nature of crimes; anil would be 
giving a fat;* f i«Ie blow to the se- 

curity and 111 icct In the pfro* 

grcss of huiniui iiay 

spring up, that m i U* 

^— ■■-■■■•- "^v- ,1; 



iU*t>tuii' aojiy whiUi ia it* 

$elf the w. 

This very iiVii, wluch wuuld in Che end prort 

J^ High Treason* 

otwtltfow of all liberty, was anxiously 
M aeuiut by the statute of king £d* 
I whtcti has express! Y said, " Aim be- 
%hmX many other tike cases of treason 
^ hiffpcn in time to come, which a m^^ 
\itik nor declare at tbia present time, 
isooorded tlmt if any other case, supposed 
> which ii not above specified, doth 
liefore any justices, the justices shall 
' without any going to judgment of the 
», till the cause be shown and declared 
I Uie king and his parliament, whether 
il Odgbt lo be judged treason or other 

Wall iJic law thus in your view, it Is with 
yiM^gaitlecnen, to consider, whether the tacts 
\ in the present case^ do amount to that 
4>f treason which is here charged? 
mg ihat a conspiracy to levy war, or 
ladilic a commotion^ is here actually proved, 
viial una^ the object and purpose of it ? Was 
^ ic^myiracy to levy such a war, or such a 
''"'Mmmi as aimed directly, or necessarily, 
person of the king? On the contrary, 
rati oof dearly and evidently sucbawar, 
mA Hich a cofxunotion^ as, at the utmost, 
GBuid have for its aim nothing more than a 
Wifcilii>tiiiu» without pursuing the due me- 
tiadso^biw? Was there any view or pur- 
fmt oi detlirooing or deposing, or endangcr- 
a|§ lh« lilr of our most gracious sovereign? 
liowicb thing ever was, nor could be dreamed 

La. d. 179*. 


It 11 Bat eiiou|h to say, that the commotion 
Mmtm raised^ night possibly have gone such 
all§gUk.«a njtjcualely to bring the personal 
flftOr w tjae kin^ into danger. There is do 
-I <Pf>|>Oftition nor resistance by force 
Ifioleoeo to the execution of any part of 
which may not, by a strained coo- 
I and imoUcation, be connected with 
^■Artjr of the king. But it is for this very 
WBm, tnal the law has wisely distingui£»hed 
I what may be intended agiunst the 
\ of lite kjtig, and what may be intended 
^ wliat has been termed the ma- 
In other words, the authority, or 
tsaoitlTa j>owcr of the crown. The former 
I held tf^**Min, but the latter has not; 
odil is no! '^ .:, gentlemen^ to throw 

muh Iha di or to confound oBences 

wbieh Um law 111! ^ separated. 
Aad lat me call to your ren\embrance ano- 
ripdndpfr *^-f ! took the liberty of ex- 
mi 4 1 and which is> that 
\ut ;,;„.>.* consists in the wicked 
I af tlsc heart. The overt acts are 
|0 he fL'Enrded, in so far as tbey are 
of the guih of the 
i ly puqxisc which con- 
fl, uijles* you arc satis- 
:if the hir had m his 
. ' ■ : • , lie- 

ui ihc 

lYu Ijttu successful 

in sho^^ing you» that the prisoner liad no real 
accession to the plan about seizing the Castle, 
nor to the preparing the pikes-, both these 
were the mild measures of Watt alone. The 
former was rejected by the commitlee, and by 
Mr. Downie, and the latter never known to, 
nor countenanced by them. Any knowledge 
Mr. Downie seems to have had of the pikes, 
was transient and accicfenlal ; and you must 
be satisfied, these pikes never could be meant 
for overturning the state, or endangeriug the 
safety of the king. 

As to Mr. Downie having been a member 
of the British Convention, he neither has been» 
nor, for the reasons I formerly mentioned, 
can he be criminated upon tliat account. And, 
as to his being a member of the Couimiltee 
of Union, or of the sub-committee of Way^ 
and Means, I cannot discover any evidence 
whatever, that these committees had auy cri- 
minal, and far less any treasonable designs. 
I request you to distinguish, gentlemen, be- 
tween a zeal for the cause of reform, and a 
wicked and criminal intention to subvert the 
government. Because the zeal of some mrn 
may be warm and intemperate, it would be 
unfair to presume, that they would go the 
length of hostility to the constitution. And 
because, in societies for reform, there may be 
some who harbour in their minds treasonable 
and detestable designs, you must not therefore 
conclude, that this pervades the minds of 
others ; or, that because a man is a Friend of 
Reform, ora Friend of the People,he is to be set 
down as guilty of the crime of hi^h treason. 

In fairness and candour, let the line be drawn 
and the just discrimination made. Con-. 
found not the innocent with the guilty. Co; 
found not the less guilty with tljose who are 
more so. If, from an intemperate impatience 
for reform, some men sliould transgress due 
bounds, and think of pursuing their object by 
other means tlian the methods of the law, let 
their temerity meet its due punishment; but: 
let not liasty and precipitate resentmeul ma^ 
nify into high treason, an offence ot'a muca 
less criminal complexion. Let us ever r©« 
member^ tliat we are to look, if there h the, 
wicked iraagmalion of the heart; and, if we 
cannot discover there the malii^uiint and 
atrocious design of compassing and iMia»jiini.i, 
the death of the king, we canni/t pronouno 
that it is \}\e crime ot high treason, I>ct coq] 
judgment disarm resentment, and teach ua^j 
tiiat the preservation of the law is of infinitely 
grciiter moment than the pumshmcnt of air 

But, gentlemen, I must conclude, for I feel 
myself much exhausted, and I am much atmic" 
1 have detained vou too long. 1 know youi 
attention and disceniment will supply any 
defects of mine, and I trust you will be sati:*- 
fied that no crime has been proved, of so deep 
u dye as c;m ciititte you to lake away ihe life 
of this poor old man at your bitr ; and tlial 
you will therefore return a VL-rdrct, lindin 
him not guilty of the crunc charged. 





Trial ofDawd Ddionie 



Mr. Anttruther, — Gentlemen of the Jurj ; 
—I now rise to perform a very unpleasant 
task indeed— to call upon you for your verdict 
against one of your fellow subjects. I feel it 
nv duty, and sorry I am that it is my duty, to 
call upon you for that verdict, hecause I think 
that I have laid before you evidence which in 
point of fact, proves the offence slated in the 
indictment no less au offence than that of 
high treason. 

There was one observation made bv Mr. Cul- 
len in which I most heartily join with him, and 
wish you to attend to it as much as it was 
possible fur him to do. He called upon you, 
gentlemen, not to regard any thing that you 
might have read concerning those transac- 
tions, but to confine your attention strictly 
and solely to the evidence, laying out of your 
mind every impression you might have re« 

DOW addressing you, which I charge upon Mr. 
Downie; and, if I cannot make out that Mr. 
Downie is guilty of a breach of his allegiance, 
by being guilty of compassing and imagining 
the death of the king, which is one species of 
treason under the statute of Edward 3rdy I 
totally fail in my case: and I am sure I have 
no wish, hut the wish of justice. I should be 
happy if the judges found it consistent with 
the law to tell you that there was no treason 
laid in this indictment, or proved by the evi- 
dence, and that you find it consistent with 
your oaths to acquit the prisoner at the bar. 
The public prosecutor has done his duty in 
laying, the case before you : he will be happ^ 
if it ^mits of a verdict of not f»uilty; but if 
you view the law and the evidence as I do, I 
am afraid it will be hardly possible that it 
should be so. 

Gentlemen, I have said, that this indict- 
ment accuses Mr. Downie of being guilty of 

ceivcd in other places ; and laying out of your one of the species of treason left by the sta^ 

mind every thing, except the impressions 
which you have received from that which is '■ 
strict legal evidenrc given upon this trial this \ 
day. And inoM sincerely do I join with Mr. i 
Cuilcn in rcronimcnding to you, and telling . 
you, tliat you will not perfonu your duty to ' 
your country and your duly to yourselves*, if j 
you do nol lay all extraneous matter from l 

your minds, and confine yourselves slricliy cntion from the moment measures tiave been 
and solely lu the evidence before you . taken for that purpose, whatever they maybe. 

The atleiition you have bestowccl this day to I The next thing for us to inquire is, what 
that evidence, renders it unnecessary for me to the statute docs not tell us, but which the 
be extremely long in repealing it; and that at- , law has Iet\ to the judges in each particular 
tenlii>n satisfies nie, that the caution Mr. Cul- ' 

lulc of Kdward Srd— compassing and imagin- 
ing the death of the king ; and it is true^ as 
Mr. Cuilen has stated, that, in the case of the 
king, the statute of treasons hath with great 
propriety retained the nde voluntas fro facto 
habetur. In the compassing the kind's death, 
the wicked imaginations of the heart have 
the same de<>ree of guilt as if carried into exe- 

len pave to you, and which I have now re 
peatcd, is :it best an unnecessary one. The 
ob^ervalions vhich Mr Cullrn has made upon 
the law, will nuike it ne(e*isary tor ine to siiy 
a few wouls to you up«»n that head ; but you 
will not lake the law from Mr. C'ullen, nor 
from i«p, allhou'^h I shall endeavour to state 
it wilh all the acc\iracy I am able ; hut you 
will take it from those much more able to 
explain it, than cither of us, whose duty it is 
to explain H, au'l to w nose obhcrvalious it is 
your tliily to allrnd. 

There w;is another observation of Mr. Cul- 
len's'in which 1 inrfectly concur; and that is 
an \iller «hhorrencc of eVery thini; called t on- 
structi\c liea-^on. I^rd Hale\ woids, which 
he reail lo you, I wish may be impressed 
upon tl 10 ninul of every public prosecutor as 

case lo determine, namely, what acts are to 
be held as means taken for Ccirrymg such 
compassing and ima*;inations into elVect, and 
lo be evidence of them, or what in other 
words, is an overt act of this species of 
treason. If means have been taken to 
carry the design into execution, the party 
is guilty. What those means are, may 
vary in every case ; and, since the date of 
the statute, various tacts have been held 
to be overt acts of this species of treason, 
and various principles have been eslablish- 
ed wilh regard lo what are or are nol overt 
nets of coinpas*>in^ and imagining the death 
of the kinir. I will state these shortly, in the 
words of some of the first lawyers and judges 
of Knglund, whose opinions have served as a 
guide to succeeding judges : and from theoi 
you Will learn the priuciples which have 

long as the wurld endures; but you will re- ■ guided courts of justice on determining what 
coilcft that the words of lord Hale are not 
appliul t«i the sl:itutc yjlh Kdwanl 8rd, or lo 
any of tlse Npei ies of treason declared hy that 
law. They arc to he found in that pari of his 

woik wlure he makes the paneg\Tic of the 
23th i:dvv;ird :Jrd. Thank God, that statute 
abolishtid in England a string of constructive 
treasons enough to make men shudder. To 
those treasons lord lialc*s observations apply. 
hut, gentlemen, it is one of the treasons de- 
clared by the statute of Edward 3rd, and con- 
tinued from that time down to Uie time I ud 

I were overt acts ol this species of treasim ; and 
, you will hear the cases which have been de- 
termined, and which have been put as illus- 
trations of these principles. 

In the fir^t place, [ take it as too clear to 
be disputed, that a person is guilty of com- 
passing and imagining the death of tlie king, 
from the moment means are used lo eftecl the 
purpose of the mind. It is also perfectly 
agreed upon all hands, that it is not necessary 
to lay before the juiy, or state in the indkt- 
iDent, a direct iiunediate attack on Uie persoQ 

169} for High Tnaton* 

of his majesty. It has been held at all times 
not necessary to state an attempt to poison, or 
to assassinate the king. Most unquestion- 
ably, if tliose means were used, they would 
irresistibly speak the purpose of the mind ; 
but means niuy be used to effect the purpose 
of compassincr and imagining the deatnofthe 
king, inticitcty short of such attempts as those. 
MrrCuilen agreed that a {)er8on going into a 
boat for the purpose of going to France with 
treasonable papers in his possession, was pro- 
perly held as employing means to effectuate 
the intention of his mina, and an overt act of ' 
compassing the death of the king. Mr. Jus- 
tice Foster, on whom Mr. Cullcn bestowed a 
very deserved panegyric, tells us — ** The care 
the" law hath taken for the personal safety of 
the king, is not confined to actions or at- 
temptb of the more ila&;itious kind, to assas- 
sination or poison, or other attempts directly 
and immediately aiming at his lite ; it is ex- | 
tended to every thing wilfully and deliberately | 
done or attempted, whereby his life may bie 
endangered." Iherefore, gentlemen, if I 
state it in the indictment, and prove any act 
done deliberately, whereby the life of the* king 
may be endangered, I have stated and proved 
that which is, in jioint of kw, an overt act of 
compassing the king's death. The same author 
says, ** the entering into measures for depos- 
ing or imprisoning the kin^, or endeavouring 
to get the person of the king into the power 
of conspirators, have been held overt acts of 
high treason within this branch of the sta- 
tute." Why? Because they are acts done, 
or attempted, not by which his life is to be 
immediately affected — not by which his life 
is to be t'lkcn away, but they are acts done 
and attempted, wherebv his life may be in 
danger. The same author farther says, " of- 
fences which are not so personal as those 
already mentioned, have been with great pro- 
priety brought within the same rule, as hav- 
ing a tendency, though not so immediate, to 
the same fatal end ;" and, therefore, the en- 
tering into connexions for the purpose of 
bringing foreigners to invade the kingdom, 
has brcn held an overt act of high treason — 
And why is it held to be an overt act of hij;h 
treason ? Because it may endanger the life 
of the king. 

I could put a case, where it could hardly be 
within probability that an invasion should 
directly be amied against the pcrwm of the 
king. I could put the case of the king being 
upon the Continent at the time that some 
persons made a contract with a foreigner to 
Lnng 2<»,rt'<» Ku^-^ians, or other foreipners, to 
niikc wjr in this country. This conkliuit be 
high treason under llie riausc of levying war, 
because iKi war was le\ied. It wowM iiot he 
aJhering to ili»: kind's enemies, because llic 
|»^rM>n«* suppo cmI are not the kind's enenuc*;. 
The ktng*s person could not be in irnnicdiato 
danger, Itocause the cai« supposes him in his 
Sotcign doniinmns ; but would it not be high 
trtawB^ M<wt certainly. It is the king's 

A, D. 1794. 


duty to repel such invasion; to place himself 
in a situation of danger : the measure directly 
points at distnrbing the peace of the country, 
which it is his duty to protect ; at introducing 
host'dities, which the ooligations of his situa- 
tion call upon him to suppress ; therefore the 
tendency of the attempt necessarily exposes 
bis person and life to peril; and it is to that 
natural and afiparent tendency that we are to 
look. Foster states the principle distinctly, 
when mentioning the oflience of inviting fo- 
reigners to invade the kingdom to be high 
treason. It is such, says he, because it hath 
a tendency to endanger the person of the king, 
and therefore it hath, in strict conformity to 
the statute, and to every principle of substan- 
tial and political justice, been brought within 
that species of treason of compassing and 
imagining the king's death. You therefore 
see, tliat every thing which has a manifest 
tendency to endanger the person of the prince, 
is an overt act of compass! njs; his death. 
Whether the acts stated in this indictment 
and proved by the evidence, have that ten- 
dency or not, I shall eonsider bv-and-by. 
These are not only the words of that great 
and illustrious person, and such he certainly 
was ; but no judge, who either prcccdeil him, 
or who has followed him, no text writer of 
authority differs from him. Hawkins says, 
'' The uerson of the king may be endangered, 
not only by such overt acts as to take away 
his life, but such design as cannot be exe- 
cuted without apparent peril thereof." Gen- 
tlemen, it will he for you, and my lords the 
judges, to consider, wliethcr the design stated 
in this indictment could be executed without 
apparent peril and danger to the king. The 
same author, in another place says, *' It hath 
been adjudv;ed, that the levying war against 
the king's person, or the bare consulting to 
j levy such war, or meeting together, and con- 
! sultin<r the means to destroy the king and his 
• goTerinnent ; or assembling with others, and 
I procuring them to attempt the king's death, 
: by listing men in order to depose the kins, or 
I printing treasonable position!^, as that the king 
I IS accountable to the people, and that they 
I ought to take the government into tlieir own 
hands, is an overt act of high treason."— Why 
I is it such ? Because it is to excite the people 
; to take the government into their own hands; 
■ and that cannot be done without endangering 
' theperson of his majesty. Gentlemen, you will 
judge under direction of the learnetl judge who 
presides here — you will jud^e from what has 
been laid l>efore you on this trial, whether 
there was, or was not, amongst these people 
a design to take the giivernment into their 
own h:mds ? and whether it did not go farther 
than printing that proposition in a book, and 
pnblishingitto the world, which in the opinion 
of the writer whom I have ju^^t cited, is high 
treason. Have no mfans been taken, no steps 
pursued, far beyond the printing and fiuhlishing 
an opinion that the people ought to take the j;o- 
vcrnmcnt into their own hands \ LooV^VvV^ 



Trial of David Vownie 


4tnstiument3 lying upon the table, and say 
J whether the providing of these for Ihe pur- 
l^fioaes proved, speaks not the intention clearly^ 
>,and whether they are not means more efiec- 
ytual for carrying that intention into execution 
•than the publication of any book, however 
dangerous the propositiona it contains. 
Gentlemen, my friend, Mr, Cullen, most 
K^Jeaervedly bestowed a nanegyric upon lord 
l^ale, an<) from him r«aa that quotation res- 
l^cting constructive treason, which I have 
mentioned. He told you^ as he said, from 
bis authority, that a conspiracy to levy war is 
pot treason, unless it be where it is directly 
QBt the person of the king. Now I am 
sctly ready to a|;reCt antf God forbid I 
■ Should not, that a conspiracy to levy war, is 
not under all circumstances, an overt act of 
high treason. Mr, Cullen stated fairly, there 
are two species of war in contemplation of the 
law ; one that might be directly against the 
person of the king, and one that may not 
nave the least relation to the person of the 
king, but which may be called a war merely 
upon other men ; and but for the generality 
ohhe purpose, would be no more than a riot. 
If people asscDible to pull down any house, it 
is a not, and no more. If they assemble to 
pull down the houses of all lawyers or judges, 
or all merchants or religious houses, such as 
all meeting-houses, or all churches, or any 
thing that docs not point to an individual, 
that IS held to be a levying war ; but a con- 
spiracy to do th;it act, is not an overt act of 
high treason. And why? Because, it is im- 
possible to say, that men who do tlaese things, 
nave the suiaUest intention against the prince; 
Ihey neither do» nor intend to do, an,ac| by 
which his person is in danger. It is war by 
construction only ; and, it cannot be allowed 
to make tlie act war by construction ; and 
then lo ar^e, that, because it is war, it is 
means used, which in then- natural and direct 
tendency, endanger the person of the king. 
The natural tendency of their acts, does not 
put the person of the prince in peril. It is the 
geoeralitv of their purpose alone, which brings 
them within tlie statute of treason* It is m 
the remote consequences, and in these alone, 
that danger mav arise to the life of his ma- 
Jeaty. But is that the case with regard to an 
attempt to overturn the government, of which 
he is the head, and first executive magistrate; 
or, with regard to an attempt to supersede the 
legislature, of which he is an integral part? 
Is it possible such attempts can oe made, 
without directly endangermg the person of 
the king } 

Now, Gentlemen, that you may follow the 
lule of lord Hale which 1 wish you to do, I 
will state what he says upon tnis i^ubject, 
Xioni Hale, who is quoted to you as the enemy 
of all constructive treasons, lord Uale says, 
** though a conspiracy he. uoi itnmt^JiateJy, 
aiv ,and expr« .iU 

oi_ -.' '■ '^; but the t. -^,- , ,,; ; ,mc- 

UiUig Liiiitin all probabJitymuj^t induce it; and 

the overt act is such a thing as must induce 
it : then it is an overt act to prove the com- 
passing of the king's death." — He then pro- 
ceeds to a number of instances, and says, '^aa 
assembly to levy war against the king, either 
to depose, or restrain, or enforce him to do anj 
act, or to come to his presence, or lo remove 
his counsellors or mmisters, or against the 
king^s lieutenant or military commissioned 
officers, is an overt act proving the compass- 
ing of the death of the kmg; for such a war 
is directly against the very person of the king ; 
and he that designs to fight against the kin^, 
cannot but know at least it mu^t put his hi^ 
in hazard.*' 

Tell mc, gentlemen, whether the facts 
charged in this indictment do not amount to 
a consultation and conspiracy to fight against 
the king's commissioned officers ; and il thcjf 
do, it must put the king's lile in danger. 
Tell roc, my lords and eenllemen of the jury, 
whether the plan proved by the evidence is 
not a plan to force the king to do something 
against his will, to restrain hhn from doing 
that which as a branch of the legislature he 
had a right to do, and to take the will of tho!^; 
conspirators instead of his own? One wort] 
more, gentlemen : he farther says, ** yet 
such a conspiracy or compassing to levy war 
against the king directly, or against his torces, 
a meeting and consulting for the elfect of it, 
whether the numbers be more or less, disgui* 
sed under any other pretence whatsoever, as 
of reformation of abuses, casting down enclo- 
sures, particular or generally, and wrestling, 
football-play in K, cock-fightmg, yet, if it can 
appear, that they consulted or resolved to 
raise a power immediately against the king, 
or the liberty or safety of his person, this con- 
gregating ot people for this intent, tnough no 
war be actually levied, is an overt act to 
maintain an indictment for compassing the 
king^s death witliin the 6rst clause of the sta- 
tute of Edward Srd ; for it is a ktiid of natural 
or necessary consequence, that he that at- 
tempts to subdue and conquer the klDg» can-* 
not intend less than the taking away his life.^ 
Gentlemen, it will be for your determinatioi 
this night, whether there was not a eonsp" 
racy entered into by the prisoner at the 
and his adherents, to subdue and conquer 

I shall now, gentlemen, state a passage, of 
which Mr. Cullen read a part to you, ll 
from a speech of lord chief justice Holt, whos 
authority is deserving of your most seriou 
attention, and when the whole pummph i 
taken together, his opinion is staled in 
masterly a manner, and so clearly, that it tsl 
not necessary to say a word mure than barelT^ 
to state it. It is in the trial of sir John Friend, 
fur hieh treason 

** ife says," 
** Here is no wai / I 

or design to levy war, docs n i | 

this law agamst treason/* V| t i 

observe, that if there bt only a couspu^cy lo 


Jhir nigh Treaton. 

A. D. 1794. 


I «t is not IreasoD ; but if the tlcMgn or 

. be to kill the king, or to depose 

mill -on him, Or pul any force or re- 

m ; and the way and manner 

c /^e is by levying a war, there 

M and conspiracy to levy a war 

is,, »..-». ^.M,/y-e is high treason, though no 

' wmr be levied; for such consultalton and con* 

L iptxftcy, ta an overt act proving the compass- 

I j&g tbe death of the king, which is the fir^t 

] lf£iaon mentioned in the statute of the 25tb 

1 af Bdward 3rd ; the words of that statute are, 

[ llttt tf my man shall compass or imagine the 

* itV ' «ng; now* necausc a man de- 

la^^ i I, deposition, or destruction of 

Im iuagi ^[^d with that design agrees and 

' , to levy war, that this should not be 

itrtt- tr be not actually levied, is 

l# wmf tit nne, and the contrary has 

|alp»}" * iu lu be law.*** He goes on 

[fc* i i yc. may be a war levied without 

laoy i*tj.. '-' 'lie kiQg's person, or endan- 

\oi if actually levied, is high 

; I ,„ .1 „ war be levied without cn- 
Idanficrtiig Uic king's per5on, such would not 

t overt net of high treason. If persons 
ibie themselves, and act with force in 
alkn to some law, which they think in- 
oient, and hope thereby to eet it ro- 
ip this is levying a war and treason, 
ll purposing and designing it is not bo. ? 

1 they endeavour in great numbcr<^i with I 
I ki make some reformation of their own 

irrthout pursuing the methods of the 

thai is levying of war and treason.*' 

I Ims goi^s on to say, '' But if there be^ as 

1 you before, a purpose and design to de- 

tbe king; ana to depose him from his 

, Of to restrain him, or have any power 

9» which i^ proposed or designed to 

td by war, that is to be levied, such 

tacy and consultation to levy war, for 

tinoiitii^ this to pass, is an overt act of 

'i tretAon/'t In the trial of sir William 

as, who WA^ indicted for the same con- 

ost eminent judge, lord 

ct says the same thing; his 

pare: *' 1 i Icll you, that this 

DO of c<j> and imagining the 

* ^ vident by other 

on: to conspire 

lallji ' .li M»>.nJe the realm; to 

vkk a in with invaders, and to 

k« ftii tnn ^iLviin^it the king, — 

liug the king's 

I; f^^ I , , M^ctf, but thai he 

nK>ul ;rrfd up an invasion, and 

BMartT I isi the king's person, docs 

^ til unofthc king, which is 

TCft . ^1 treason; and he that 

\ take au I ^ defence, which he 

I hav« bv lUCc of his suhjectii^ 

tir John Frcindy Vol. 13» 


I Clod's Tjia), aiK\ Vol. 13^ 

and leave him exposed to his mortal enemies, 
cannot but be prcsunied to design tlie king's 
ruin and murder."* 

Now, gentlemen, such b the law and iU 
distinctions upon this subject. If there be a 
design through the medium of war, to overturn 
the government of the country, of which the 
king is apart; to supersede the legislature^ of 
which he is an integral branch, as well as first 
executive magistrate ; it js hard to say, that 
such a design, if carried into execution, Would 
not endanger his life. His duty to that con- 
stitution, which has placed him in the sitiia' 
tion of its first executive magistrate, calls im- 
periously upon him to resist, at all hazards, all 
such attempts ; their success no king could 
survive; and the very first step taken either 
to ensure their success, or to prevent their 
completion, places hira in a situation of dan* 
ger and peril, from which it would be strange, 
indeed, if the law, which protects the meanest 
of his subjects, did not strongly interpose for 
his defence. 

Thus much with respect to the law : with 
regard to the facts given in evidence before 
you, feeling myself very much exhausted, and 
apprehending you must be the same, trorn 
the length of time tliis trial has lasted, t 
shall state thera very shortly ; and 1 am hap* 
py to say, that the very great attention you 
nave bestowed through the course of this long 
trial, renders it unnecessary for me to be mi* 
nute, and enables me to perform my duty, 
without consuming much of your lime. 

The first evidence we brouglil before you, 
was for tbe purpose of proving a conspiracy in 
general, to uverlurn the constitution of*th« 
country ; and how far Downie is a flee led by 
it, wiir b^ (or you to determine. I think he 
is directly affected by it. 

First, we prove it, by the correspondence of 
seditious societies held in London, and in 
other places ; their letters say they will have 
means more effectual than the petitioning 
parliament for a reform. What means? 1 
desire you to take that letter of hkirving to 
Hardy, Into your consideration, and tell me 
whetner it does not directly point out the pbn 
for the destruction of the whole government 
of this country, and placing one organised by 
Skirving and his associates \n its stead ; Skirv- 
ing says, we have already formed a plan for 
organization, that when the time come^, he 
and his friends may be ready to act, and may 
not be occupying themselves with organiza- 
tion. Take thatfetter, and tell me whclhtrit 
does not directly and pointedly go to the case 
of the dissolution of the government of th^ 
nation, and Skirving and his organized body 
taking the place of the guverument of the 
countr)\ What does the seditious society in 
London do ? First, it proposes to Skirving to 
adopt a method more effectual than petition* 
ing. What is it SkirVing proposes to be more 

♦ Sec the Trial of sir Wilh^iu Parkyuv, 
anic^ Vol 13, p. 113- 



Trial of David Dawnie 


cfifectual than petitioning? A Conrcntioa. 
WhatisSkinring and the society to go on 
with and endeavour to procure ? A ('onven- 
tioo. What is the convention pointed out by 
Skirving in his letter to do ? 

Their determination is, tliat if the legisla- 
ture dares to do a particular act in the e?(ercise 
of its legal fttnctions, they will resist that 
legislature. What is this in plain English but 
« conspiracy to overawe the legislature from 
doing its duty ; if it does its duty, to resist 
and robcl against it? When that society, 
calling itself a Convention, met, how did it 
act? It formed itself upon the model of a 
convention in another country, the effects of 
which, in that kingdom, I need not state. It 
next assumes the name of a British Conven- 
tionw — Ailer that name is assumed, do you 
hear a word of petitioning parliament? No. 
My learned friend read a passage from the 
Mmutes, in which it was proposal by some 
members to petition parliament ; the idea is 
treated with contempt : and, afler that, shall 
I be told it was a society for the purpose of 
petitioning parliament for a reform ? They 
tell me themselves th^ did not intend to pe- 
tition. But is that all ? Do they stop there ? 
lliey come to a resolution, in which they ex- 

Essly declare, that they will, in a variety of 
en cases, resist the authority of the legis- 
ire; and if parliament shall dare to pass a 
particular law, they will dare to meet, m de- 
nance of that law, till superior force obliges 
them to desist; force superior to what? Gen* 
tlemcn, can you read this resolution otherwise, 
than as a resolution to continue to act in dis- 
obedience to the laws of the legislature, to con- 
temn its autliority ; to resist the execution of 
its decrees, till a force superior to their force, 
should compel them to desist. Gentlemen, 
what is this, but a conspiracy against the le- 
gblature of the country, and a resolution to 
resist it by force ; and what sort of a war 
would it have been, if the legislature of thb 
cotmtry its King, Lords, and Commons is to be 
resisted by force ?— Would it, or would it not 
have been a war directly against the person of 
the king, and directly endiuigering his safety ? 
What is to become of his majesty, sitting in 
his parliament, if another parliament, sittme 
in Edinburgh, or any where else, are to tell 
the legislature how far they will obey or not. 
But this is not all. They provide for future 
conventions, and form themselves into a |>er- 
manent body, to meet and to act as occasion 
shall require ; they resolve, that each dele- 
gate, when he returns home, shall desire his 
constituents to choose a fresh delegate to a 
fresh convention, and providing a fund for de- 
fraying the expense of that delegate. It was 
asked nw,did I mean to criminate Mr.Downie 
Ibr what he did as a member of the British 
Convention. I say, gentlemen, that I do not 
But if, afier Mr. Downic was brought here as 
a witness on the trial of Mr. SkirviDg, he 
chooses to act upon the nesohitioo of that as- 
sembly, to adopt its purposes, further its 

views, act upon its plans, and do that, which 
its last resolution pointed out,— to endeavour 
to procure a deiegdtc to be elected to another 
new convention ; and if he did collect money 
for that purpo^ic —I do mean to connect Mr. 
Downic with those acts I have proved of his 
knowledge of the act^ of the British Conven- 
tion ; now I come to that which directly cri« 
minates him. He knew the operations of that 
convention. What did Downie do ? lie meant 
to provide for defraying the expcnf«e of dele- 
gates to another convention. Mr. CuUen 
asked me if I meant to assert, that every man 
who is concerned in what is called the cause 
of reform, is to be supposed going the whole 
criminal length of every other man engaged 
in the cause of reform ? I say, most certainly 
not. But if I prove that Downie acted upon 
the plans and views that the British Conven- 
tion did, then I criminate him. What was 
this Committee of Union ? What was this 
Committee of Ways ami Means. The Con^ 
mittce of Union, you have been told by 
MHUubben, Orrock, and Brown, one of its 
members, that the Committee of Union was 
for the electing a delegate to another conven- 
tion, and providing monev ibr the expense of 
the delegate. What is this less than acting 
upon the last vote of the Bridsh Convention^ 
which broueht about their disper^^on. What 
was that other convention to be ? The paper 
circulated about it calls it another British 
Convention. Tlicn the ne.\t convention, to 
which Mr. Downie was to elect a deputy and 
pay his expenses, was to be similar to that I 
have mentioned. What was that convention ? 
It was of that criminal nature I have stated,-^ 
a conspiracjr to resist the legislature in the 
exercihc of its functions, to support itself by 
force, and not to desibt, till opposed by that 
which puts an end to all rebellion, superior 

It might be said, tlicre was to be a convenr 
tion to meet in England ; and, however ille- 
gal the British Convention's views and pur- 
poses might be, Mr. Downie meant not the 
British Convention that was past, but the 
convention which the £ni;lish sociolies meant 
to call in England. What was it thc^' meant 
to call in England ? A convention similar to 
the British Convention, another British Con- 
vention, the views, the objects, and acts of 
which these Eiiglish societies applauded, ap- 
proved, and adopted : and, I may add, that 
the most violent of the acts of the British 
Convention were the natural and necessary 
result of the principles laid down by the Lon- 
don Corresponding Society for the direction oi' 
its delegates. If you read the minutes of the 
Globe Tavern Meeting, — if you read that 
paper pubHshed and ^ circuLitcd at Chalk 
Farm, — the whole of those proceedings arc 
founded upon the last vote oi* the British 
Convention. The dispersion of that conven- 
tion is one of the grievances complained of, 
and It is the model upon which the new con- 
vention is to be framed. It is to meet in the 

177J J^f High Tre&ion: 

! er^tiU; to resist Hit • ufUiii le- 

Xitte ; la tcpel forcx* Ij; . prtivenl 

Lerdi^ and iloniinoQs i 

c0tiHUA«r«« MwA r««i9lilfthoTi 

llir sme maimer as tite Bnti$it vu..v,muij4) 

Jlivc retuivctl to do. 

I tf i I ect for a I 

A- D- ITM. 




aod Hie li 
liaelion eti* 

»a ftp rt 

■Mil WDUi 

Horn rti9 tn. 


tte I' 


iljr »i€t lur one 

mui II ic 



.t V *4ie*>iiv auil the 

ncc bctwetn that 

Ak ; the nicest di*- 

Hfn. Theohjeclof 

■'" Jla 

"1 NIC le- 
iuit? ba 

.; I - 

e? It is a 

, [lolr t'\t'C\ I 

■111 ; 


ilurc oi 

3d, that 

is uijiUiti^ more 

Ti i^Mi* is done, 

rtlL'ct: from 
iilion tnci to 
, and deter- 
l>> a superior 

ir. IS no If^.J JUl- 

% Jx>rfJ^, and < oin- 

uiuhdated, if such 

diij% That coulil 

i. suvs my tricnd; Tor if il 

. ->i the n>embMs of 

M tf' br ^udty of 

, thill if 

1 1 in the 

bcr, ilicic wuuU have been 

K lly the 

e tnlurc 
10 support 



'.; a 

omMntoiif Mui keeping up the npint ot the 
fiilMii <if tbt Pf cTpir. OttM-rvt^, fur one n»<>- 
MSDf, «»llat tec of VVavs ntld 

McMMii ftrt:! wduuJs, l)nt :irtrng 

ArtM piiqicii4^ vihich I have sUfrd, dial oo 
Mttlf ilf the Ftiefwln fif Ih*!* Prnple, tODsl- 
^dW^M lii y» lNi itsfnisi- 

•«». lis 0w fni lU, aud 

"^ -^ornr^ Jt i:uiUlllli1«e 

acted by authority, and uii hthulf of the 

Friends of the People ; and mnrk iht« wordw, 

u rctoUcfi i ! Ill one 

' ^* One I * Rs uf 

elect and pay the ejipcnscs ol to ii 

* Uie important e!nibaA!»y whi' u 

i'k'dlo Vol I by the witnesses ; ai , ri 

ufif was, to provHie fur tiic grand 

plari , and not a trivial part uf it, was, 

to pTt>curc iit^lrument^, such as you now see 
upon yonr tdble ; and shall I now be told all 
Ihig wai irmocent, and that the convention, 
intended to b^ called and supported by butli 
mean^, had nothin*; more than a legal relorin 
in view? 1 dare say thousands of itu^e dc- 
hitkd men, who p:r r * 
Friends of the Vwr, 
^ " H', as I hav€ he 

lod and many r Ir ^ 

la : hut was tht '. :..-l .: yj 

the name 
such objects 





1 1' tr 


Means deluded? Was it dchision that Jed 
lliem to send Fairlcy round the country for the 
purposes for which he went ? Was it delusion 
tlmt made them desire Orrock to provide 
pikes P Was it delusion that induced them to 
pay Brown lor the pikes be had made ? Was 
It delustion that made them consult and con- 
sider of the cxtraordmary plan» of which you 
have heard so much ? Mr. Cullen desired you 
til consider, whether it was possible that tiiese 
low men, assembled in small numhrrs, jin^iint 
all these great purposes which I h;ivt* vfaled 
ihera to have meant ; and slated the wildncss 
and extravaf^ance of the plan, as rendering it 
impossible for you to give credit to it»5 exist- 
ence. Whether the sch*?me was wild and ex- 
travagant, or not,-- 1 will not take ujion me 
to sny : 1 he wild n ess and exiruvagatice of the 
scheme does not prove the scheme <hd not 
ejcist; and men arc not to cscaf>c puui%h' 
nient^ because, thank G*hJ, iljc spirit of the 
cotmtry is such, thai any such pian,altlK>ugh 
supported by numbers much p^eater than 
theirs, and men more powerfid than J hoy, 
would be Wild and eiilravaeunt: But why sire 
such schemes wild and* '" nt. Il is, 

becvmse the spirit «jf lb is awake; 

and because so mi3T:'' - ii. habitants of 

these kinc^doms ba\ ed lorth by the 

alarm; and have stot.L 1 m u w iv whif h 

docs them huuour, aitd, i tru^t, bn e ] 

to the designs of malevolent and y/\< 
whether few or numerous; whettirr Jit iron 
or abroad. But, thM there wan ^^ich a phin j 
not less true, beCHu*« national loyalty aii^ 
spirit, a love for the king, and veneration ta 
iiic constitution, hare r«odered il wild 

Oentlemen, you nughl hav<» thought, 
haps, in former parts of your life, that 
scheme bv ' n low occupatbns ii 

Jde, and pomt uf money. 

averb«t aii t ^*iibvi»4 lUt' ^^^^enuueut ^A %^ 

N m 



S* GEORGE 111. 

Trial of David Do^nie 


country, was a thing so extmvajant, that its 
extraviigance was evidence of its natt-ej[ist- 
ence: but can you think so, at this day? 
Have you not seen a mighty monarchy 
crurableri to pieces? Have you not seen a 
great king lea to the scaffold ? Have you not 
seen all that was great, was learned, was 
respectable or sacred, in oue of the mightiest 
monarchies in Europe, scattered like chaff 
before the wind, by instruments whom, hut a 
few years ago, you should have thought vile 
and contemptible? To use the phrase which 
I borrow from my learned friend near me, 
Uecause I never can do better than when 1 
liorrow from him- — Such schemes are the 
trea-^on of the day; the growth of this par- 
ticular period; the treason of the hour in 
which we now live. Melancholy experience 
assures us of their existence; and even their 
extravagance itself may rn some degree fur- 
nish the means, and faciUtate their execution, i 
I must next call your attention for a very 
few moments to this committee. First, it is 
-to pay the debts of the past convention ; then 
to provide for the expenses of delegates to a 
Dcw convention ; tlien it becomes a Committee 
fof Union too large to act, too great in its 
lliumbcrs; then a smaller committee is formed ; 
b permanent committee ; a secret committee, 
Ffionsisting of seven mem be re, chosen from 
[the CommiUee of Union. What are the 
IjKJwers entrus^ted to that committee? Unli- 
fliiiLed powers overihc s<3ciety at hrge, as far 
[^ delegation can go. One of the witnesses 
id great difficulty in saying it was a secret 
IfommiUee, and did not know what committee 
Jilwas>; at last he says, it was just such a 
Icommittee as men would have who wished to 
I keep their business secret and private; that 
[is, a commiLlee of secrecy. Now, what are 
rthe acts of this committee? Its ftrsl act is, to 
Testablish a set of collectors, who were to col* 
fleet sense and mone^ ; who were to know 
[ vhat number of patriots could be depended 
^lipon; what exertions could be made in the 
great cause. — Read the circular letter, and 
nen tell me what were the views of the com- 
FlDittee, *' We would wish to be informed 
[ iKhat number of friends you have, whose pa- 
ir iotissm you can rely upon, with the most 
[implicit confidence, and whom you know will 
I spare no exertion whatever iu promoting the 
L great cause we have in hand;'* patriotism is 
not sulficicDt 1 greater exertions are necessary. 
[ What were these ? Read Fairley's paper with 
the blank, as he has filled them up; what is 
wanted at Stirling? Courage. What, was 
courage wanting for a petition to parhament? 
wai courage wanting to procure a reform by 
legal and peaceable means? No: courage 
was wanted for the hand to guide tho^e 
pikes; courage was wanted for the toijcclors 
v^ho were to conduct the division*;; couraj^c 
was wanted to seize the Castle of Edinburgh, 
I' and overcome them whose duty it was to dtf- 
fend it ; to sei^e the judges, aiid oliier magis- 
Iratei of the country; aad to 3eize upoa the 

banks, and deluge this country witli blood, 
from one end to Uie other. 

Gentlemen, one of the first tilings done 
after appointing tiiese collectors is, a meeting 
for the purpose of answering Mr, Hardy*s cir- 
cular letter, respecting another Britbh Con- 
vention, about which I have said enough. 
Watt, the leading member of the committee; 
Downie, the treasurer, the general treasurer 
of the Friends of the People, were tK)th pre- 
sent at that meeting. Mr. Watt produces a 
plan which he reads to the committee. Mr, 
Culleu reads a quotation to you, to prove, 
that if a person was once present at a consul- 
tation for treasonable purposes, without 
knowing wlmt the purposes of the meeting 
were, he could not be guilty of treason ; most 
unquestionably not ;— nor would I call upon 
you to say Mr. Downie was guilty of treason, 
if he had never done more than being present 
at this meeting: and if nothing more passed 
than passed the iirsi evening the plajiwas 
read; if Mr. Downie had known nothing of 
the nature and objects of the committee ; if 
he had done nothmg before or since, to prove 
his knowledge of, and accession to the whole: 
the barely being present at a meeting for 
treasonable purposes, without a knowleflffe of 
these purposes before-hand^ is not of itself an 
overt act of hii:^h treason. But what was his 
conduct when the plan i^'as produced ? Two 
persons (one of whom, if he was engaged in 
schemes at any time liostile to the consUtu* 
lion of his country, has most unquestionably 
made that constitution all the amends in his 
power, by the candid manner in which he 
gave his testimony) ; I mean M*Ewan, when 
that plan was mentioned, exclaimed against it; 
and would not agree to any thing that was to 
occasion bloodshed in the country ; Mr. Bon- 
throne 5aid, No, no; and seemed to be in 
greal fright, — Bonthrone immediately deter- 
mined to leave the society, and to get rid of 
it tor ever, and tree himself from every dan* 
^erous consequence, which might attend his 
having been present at such a meeting, by 
stating to the world, that he had withdrawn 
from these connexions. This conduct of 
Bonth rone's strongly corroborates the evi- 
dence of what the plan really was; it proves, 
that it was a plan of very i;reat danger, and 
very great alarm ; the plau proved is precisely 
consistent with the eftec t the reading of it 
produced on them ; it was to seize the Casllc 
of E<linbtiTgb, raise a tire at the Excise-of- 
fice, and when the soldiers came out to ex- 
tinguish it, the Friends of the People sta- 
tioned for the purpose, were to attack them. 
Ah thes^c things wcn^ lo be done, nut bv the 
assistance of ludilleretU mcn» who might be 
pitked up by Watt and Duwuie; but by those 
who meant to eh rl delegates, and pay their 
expenses lo a future couventioiL by the con- 
stituents of the Committee of Ways and 
Means : one jiarly was to meet at the Lucken* 
booths, auolrjcr at the Bow, others were 
to be statiojicd to scire the judges and ma 

18Ij fir High Treason. 

gistntes of the city, mnd the hanks; 
and then couriers were to he sent into 
the couDtrjTy putting the farmers in a state 
of requisitioD, and the gentry in a state 
of confinement, under the penalty of death 
for their disoh^ltence ; and, last of all, his 
myesty himself was to be made to submit to 
the inll of these conspirators. When this 
phn is read, what says Downie of it ? Is he 
alarmed at it ? Is there any evidence of his | 
ft^t upon the occasion ; or, is there any ; 
thmg of his drawn up to satisfy the world, | 
be had abandoned all tnese committees ? But i 
I am ready to take it, that at that meeting 
be neither assented or dissented. It cannot 
be denied the evidence eoes this length at 
lent: but did Downie do no more? Mr. 
Downie met Mr. Orrock at that Committee 
of Ways and Means ; and Mr. Downie at 
tbat Committee of Ways and Means, with 
Mr. Watt, gave orders for the instruments 
that were to accomplish this plan, and which 
DOW lie upon your table. Does a man, when 
be has dissented from a plan, join with ano- 
tbcr in ordering the instruments to accom- 
plish Hy and carry it into execution } Orrock 
tells you, Downie was present when he had 
tbe first conversation with Watt, when he 
aud he would make a pike : What did Or- 
rock do when he made it? He brought it 
back: To what place? to George lioss's, 
where the Committee of Ways and Means 
Bttt Did he deliver it to Watt alone, by 
cdliaf^ him out from the meeting, or deliver 
it to hun publicly in the Committee of Union ; 
10, he called out Mr. Watt and Mr. Downie ; 
the Sub-committee met in the same house 
vith tbe Committee of Union; Watt and 
Downie were members of both committees ; 
and they were called out by Onock as Sub- 
committee-men, acting together, to talk about 
these pikes. Did Downie say to him, you have 
been talking of a plan that is to destroy the 
^vcmment of this country ? You have been 
talking of a plan, that mav deluce the streets 
of Edinburgh with blood ; ana now you are 
providing instruments and weapons for the 
purpose of carrying it into execution, I will 
have no more connexion with you: These 
axe not the purposes for which we have asso- 
cialcd : these are not the objects of our com- 
mittees? No. He joins with Watt in telling 
Orrock to make a numl)er of pikes, and then 
bring them back. To whom was Orrock to 
bring them ? To the Committee of Ways 
and Means, consisting of Mr. Downie, and 
Mr. Stoke, and I believe at that time, if I re- 
collect, M'Ewaii. When Mr. Downie hrard 
Mr. Watt was apprehended ; when he heard 
thjit M*£wan haa been examined, lie goes to 
Mr. M'Ewan, and asks him what questions 
bad been put to him, and tells hnn— Mr. 
M*£wan, it yon arc examined again, and you 
are asked whether you know me, say no: 
aid if I am asked wkiethcr I know you, I will 
*ay, no. Mr. M'Ewan* much to his honour, 
Ri'uKd to have any tiling to do with such a 

A. D. nQ*. 


scheme. But, Is Downic*s the conduct of an 
innocent man ? No. It is the conduct of a 
man who had assented to the plan from the 
beginning. And here I must remark, that it 
was from this conversation that M*Kwan for 
the first time learned that Downie had paid 
mone}[ to Martin Todd and Brown for pikes. 
Who is Brown? He is concerned in the 
same business, in which Downie and Watt 
employed Orrock. Brown is employe<l to 
make pikes— Who pays Brown? Downie. 
Out of what fund ? Out of the fund of the 
Committee of Ways and Means. Who or- 
dered the pikes from Orrock ? The Commit- 
tee of Ways and Means. Now, I am told, I 
have not proved that Downie knew that this 
money was paid for pikes. I leave you to 
judge of that. Orrock was employed to make 
pikes by order of the Comniittce of Ways and 
Means. Brown was employed by Watt for 
the same purpose ; he pays him by an onlcr 
upon Downie, the treasurer of the committee, 
the general treasurer of the Friends of the 
People. Downie pays him out of these funds 
— ^Is it credible that he did not know the 

Eurpose for which the money was paid ? Did 
e, who employed Orrock, not know the oc- 
cupation of Brown ? But if this be not suffi- 
cient evidence of the complete assent of 
Downie, attend to the evidence given by 
Fairley. Whom was Fairley employed by ? 
Originallv by Mr. Watt ? No. By the Com- 
mittee of Ways and Means. Whose message 
was he to carry P A message from the Com- 
mittee of Ways and Means. Whose instruc- 
tions had he to carry ? The instructions of 
the Committee of Ways and Means. Who 
did he give back the instructions to? He 
was to give them back to a clerk of the Com- 
mittee of Ways and Means. Still I am told, 
that Mr. Downie knew nothing of the mis- 
sion of Fairley. It is said, he might mean 
only to send those letters and papers, and 
might not mean anything about the plan. 
It was the instructions alone, which told 
Fairley where he was to go, and where he 
i was to deliver those letters. He was to de- 
I liver the letters at Falkirk, Stirling, Burrows- 
I tounness,St. Ninians, Kilsyth, Kirkintulloch, 
! Campsie, Glasgow, and Paisley. You wiil 
! determine if these instructions did not come 
! from the Committee of Wa.ys and Means; 
. for it is admitted Downie knew of tlie distri- 
. bution of the »)apers, and knew where they 
were to be conveyed ; and did he then n<tt 
'■ know of the instructions by which Fairley 
was told the route he was to tnke ? Read 
' the circular letter, and say whether there is 
! not a pretty close connexion between that 
' letter, and the plan and projects already 
1 mentioned ? Whore did Fairley go when he 
I came back ? To the Committee ot Ways and 
Means. Who jmid the cxi»cnsrs of his jour- 
ney? Downie. Troin whom did he get the 
money to enable him u> i^o ? From Downie. 
Now, if Mr. Dowmc knew nothing of those 
iustructions, did it never occur to him to ask 



why (lid you go to Glasgow, o#to this or thdt 
place ? Was Downie surprised at the circuit 
ne had made, or did he inquire for what pur- 
pose, or with what view it was undertaKen. 
No, 00 tlie contrary, he readily ^id him for 
his trouble in undertaking the journey, and 
seemed satisfied with the manner in which it 
was performed. You will judse from that, 
whether Mr. Downie knew of the other trans- 
actions of the Committee of Ways and 
Means. Gentlemen, you recollect, too, that 
when Watt and Downie gave instructions to 
Orrock to make the pikes, Watt and Downie 
desired him to keep in his eye the drawing 
they made ; and when he brought the pike 
he had made, he was sent out of the room 
while Watt and Downie had a consultation 
together. After that consultation, he was 
cuTled from the Committee of Union, into 
which he was goine, and received from them 
two jointly, the oraer for the pikes, which he 
executed, and which now lie before you. 

There is another circumstance, a strong 
circumstance it is too : a pike has been seen in 
the house of Mr. Downie : when it was seen, 
it was endeavoured to he concealed ; it was 
called by Mr. and Mrs. Downie a dividing- 
knife. Whetl\er the ini^trunient that is 
now produced be like a dividing- knife or not, 
you will judge. That conversation between 
Mr. and Mrs. Downie, affects Downie with a 
knowledge of these pikes being in the house. 
The circumsuncc ol its being called a divid- 
ing-knife, and concealing both itK being there, 
and what it really was, is one to which you 
will no doubt give its due weight. Certain 
it is, that it was not foimd in his house when 
search was made several days after the ap- 
prehension of Watt. Vou recollect the pike 
was seen in his house prior to the apprehen- 
.sionof Watt, and posterior to theapprenen.sion 
of Watt was not found there ; and it was after 
that apprehension, too, that he went and had 
that conversation with M'Ewan, which I have 
mentioned: you will judge whether, from all 
these circumstances, there is not complete 
evidence of Downie be'inf'^ part iceps crimims; 
of his having assented to that plan of treason, 
in all its circumstances; the conversation 
withM*Ewan; the tinding the pike in the 
house; conversing with Hrown ; sending 
Fairley, and paying him after he rame back 
from his journey ; the pikes being actually 
made by Orrock, as ordered by him ; and his 
not dissenting from the plan when read, and 
his full knowledge of all the views, plans, 
and objects both of this convention and the 
prcccdinu convention, with all those rircum- 
stances in your minds, tell me whether the 
result is not complete conviction ? 

Now I come to the Fencible paper. Upon 
that I shall make no comment. 1 desire you 
to read it ; and, after you have read it, judge 
whether it does not insinuate to the soldiers, 
that their wives will be ravished ; their chil- 
dren and fathers butchered by troops of 
fi^reign mercenarioB. Gentlemen^ does tbe 

TrM of David Dannie [IBi; 

Eaper mean that these horrible deeds were to 
e perpetrated by foreign invaders? Tliey 
were to be perpetrated by those who come to 
be received here in kindness and hospitality. 
Who are these that are to be received with 
kindness and hospiulity? That paper saysy 
these outrages were to be the return for kind- 
ness and hospitality. To whom was kindness 
to be shown ? To the troops brought here by 
his majesty to defend the country, and not to* 
those that come to invade it. The allusion to 
the massacre of Glencoe, while it brings 
melancholy and disgraceful scenes to our re- 
membrance, clearly points out what the troops 
are, which the paper insinuates were to be 
brought here to do those deeds of horror. 
What is the fair construction of this paper, 
but an endeavour to insinuate to the soldiers 
of this country, that if they were to defend 
another part of this nation Irom an invasion, 
the very government they went to defend, 
would ravage their country, destroy their fami- 
lies, and massacre every person they held dear. 
A dotibt has been suggested, whether the dis- 
l>ersion and publication of the paper can be 
evidence under this indictment? I take it 
there is no room for such doubt. 

Gentlemen, we have charged the prisoner 
with a conspiracy to resist the government of 
the kingdom. We have charged him with a 
conspiracy to compel the king to yield to 
certain demands. I am entitled to give every 
act of his in evidence, which will prove that 
conspiracy, or which can explain the objects 
he had in view. Above all, I am entitled to 
give in evidence the means he used to make 
that conspiracy effectual, and the mode he 
took to compel the king to >ield to his 
demands, the engines he employed to support 
his convention, and render vain all resistance 
to its decrees. One of these means were, 
those instruments Iving upon the table? ano- 
ther was, inciting tiie soldiers to mutiny and 
rebellion, and depriving the crown of those 
legal means of resistance, with which the 
conslitiUion has most Mi^ely entrusted it. I 
am not obliged to lay all the evidence as overt 
acts; out ot kindness to the prisoner, and in 
order he mi»ht have as lull a knowledge 
as possible of tne case we meant to make 
against him, as this mode of trial is somewhat 
nmv in this country, we have been unnecessa- 
rily minute and particular in our indictment. 
Many, very many of what we have laid as 
distinct overt acts, might have l>cen given in 
evidence under a more general charge. It 
cannot be doubted that the plan iuv securing 
the Castle, and every thing relative to the 
ordering or ])repariiig of pikes, might have 
been given in evidence under a charge of a 
conspiracy to levy war, or to depose the king; 
and of that conspiracy there would have been 
evidence ; they may alsu be stated as overt 
acts in themselves ; because they are means 
used to effectuate the |nirpose of the mind, 
and that a purpose which cannot be carried 
into ezecviion, without endigigering the life 


far High Treason* 

A. D. 17M. 


of hb mfttesty, and bringing his person into 
danger and peril ; a more direct evidence of a 
coDiipiffacy to levy war again&t the king can- 
not M, than the circumstance of debauching 
the araayy and endeavouring to arm the sub- 
jcclB against the sovereign. It is to deprive 
ilie king of the assistance of his subjects, and, 
in the words of lord chief justice Treby, 
which 1 have already read to' you, he that 
intends to deprive the king of the assistance 
of his subjects, cannot intend less than his 
ruin and destruction. 

Now, take all these facts together. Take 
the intentions they had in view; the means 
they took to carry their intention into execu- 
tion : take the plan of calling a convention ; 
take the plan of seizing the Castle; consider 
what were to be the nature and power of that 
convention when called ; the means used to 
dd)auch the army ; the actual facts of making 
and providing arms; and then judge, geutlc- 
men, whether, ifthis scheme had been carried 
into execution, his majesty's life would not 
have been in danger } Had this scheme been 
carried into execution, there would have been 
DO covemmcnt in this country. The Kin^, 
Lords, and Commons were superseded in their 
aathoiity ; force was to take place of law, and 
the wiJl of the multitude to stand in lieu of 
the constitution. It is with great satisfaction 
1 say, that all those designs have proved 
abortive. I know that there is a spirit of 
loyalty in these soldiers who have been at- 
tempted to be debauched, as well as in almost 
all the inhabitants of this country, which I 
trust will long render all such attempts abor- 
tive, by whomsoever they may be made, or by 
wbomsoever they may be conducted But, 
let it not be said, that because such scheme 
Bay be abortive, if attempted to be carried 
into eieaition, that those concerned are not 
to be puni«hed for the crimes. It is no light 
thing, gentlemen, to attempt to set aside the 
xoyernn'ient of the country. The slightest 
evils which can arise, and the least dangerous 
consequences that must ensue from attempts 
to supersede the laws and constitution of the 
country, and to render every thing subservient 
to the will of the multitude is, the letting 
loose the turbulent passions of mankind, and 
the removing for a time the wholesome rc- 
Mraints of law and order ; and it is no light 
thin^ to remove the restraints of law from the 
multitude. The restraints of law arc as much 
a part of your liberties, as any other part of 
the const it! It ion. It is the reslramtoflaw that 
confines the unruly ; it is the restraint of hiw 
that cuntroh the violent; it is the restraint 
of law that prevents the turbulent passions of 
niaiikind from overwhelming this country and 
every other '■oiintry in blood. Remove tht* 
restraints of hiw, and no one can icll the 
mi^liief he introduces. Its eflfcct upon tlio 
BMilittiidc, which, in all ages, and in all 
cormtrieA, is nearly the same, is well described 
hy the eliegant Roman historian Livjr,who, in 
n«irbUng some of the sudden rcvolotums which 

took place in some of the states of^icily, in 
which the minds of the lower orders of men 
were much aritated, philosophically and ele- 
gantly remarKs, '< ilxc natura multitudinis 
est: aut servit humilit^r, aut supcrbc domina- 
tur : Libertatem quae media est, nee spernere 
modic^, nee habere sciunt* et non ferm^ 
desunt iranim indulgentes mmistri, qui avidos 
atquc intempcrantes plcbeiorum animos ad 
sangiiinem et cedes irritent: Sicut tum ex- 
templo prac tores rogationem promulgarent, ac- 
ccptaque pene priusquam promulgata est, ut 
omnis regia slirps interficeretur." May God, 
in his good providence, avert such evils from 
this happy land ! But let us not be inattentive 
to the page of history, or to the experience of 
the present hour, and leave unpunished these 
dangerous attempts, because the spirit of the 
nation may ultimately render them abortive. 
Such an attempt, dchberately resolved upon, 
and, as we imagine, clearly proved, we have 
laid before you. It is your duty, calmly to 
weigh the whole of the evidence, coolly to 
consider the matter, and lay vour hand]» to 
your hearts, and say, ii^hether this prisoner be 
guilty or not, of the treason laid to his charge, 
as the crime is great, and the consequences of 
the attempt dreadful. Yeu are anxiously to 
guard agamst every impression which horror 
for the crime, or dread of its consequences, 
may have upon your minds. If the crime is 
great, the punishment is also the greatest the 
law knows, or which a subject of Uiis country 
can suffer: and satisfactory ought to be the 
evidence which calls upon you to pronounce a 
verdict of guilty. Such we think we have 
laid before you; but if you can acquit him 
upon the evidence, I shall rdoice. I have 
done rny duly, and my learnen friends their 
duty, in laymg the case before you. It is 
your huhiness to judge of it, and judge of it I 
am sure you wil^ in a manner, that, whether 
you acquit or condemn the prisoner, from tlie 
cluractcr you bear in the world, and from 
your conduct and attention this day, your 
decision will reflect honor on yourselves, and 
credit on your country. 

SumfiiiG UK 

The Lord Presideni ;— Gentlemen ?— Tlic 
circumstances which have been exhibited to 
view upon the present occasion, are some of 
then) of a nature so extraordinary, that I be- 
lieve, at any after time, the existence of tiiem 
will not easily be credited. 

Tlicre have been periods in the history of 
this country, (I mean Ijcotland), when the 
lower classes of people had reason to com- 
plain of their condition; wlien ignorance, 
idleness, and superstition reigned, and poverty 
was the consequence ; when the power of the 
ni»hU:s, and chiefs of clans, was too great for 
the kin^ and the body of the people. In 
those times, commerce and manufactures 
were unknown amongst us, and agriculture 
was nearly in the same state ; the chief em^ 
pk)ymcnt of all ranks of men in the country^ 



Trial cfDinid Dovcnie 


hrin^ ovti w;ir, Umiiy fnuU, riot, and depre^ 
rhtKm. Rut how wirlcW diflferent haw the «Ule 
of thi< country fiffri for ft conittflcrable lime 
hwk ' And, pnrrirtiUrlyy v^hat is it at the pre- 
Afint niornrrit ^ f will ircntiirc ti> »ay, there is 
no rmiritry rxisting, which is at present more 
fl#iiiri«hmfi(; no peoole whose general con- 
diti/»n i^ hrtter, or wh'ise rights and hberties 
HTf nuiTf. firmly s^-curwl. 

f rr nrlcmen, the evil d'>es not lie there, but 
in H dillcrrnt qii.irler altr^ffether. f am afraid 
it is loo wfil known. ItTies in the insidious 
nttrrnpU ii( driii^ning and desperate men, to 
brinji; ihisrounlry into the misrralilc situation 
of l'r»i»(:r. It IS not a fltnig^lc for liberty, in 
a proper sensr. It is not a strii)];gle for hap- 
piness. It i« not a strngf(le vvtiu for reform, 
tlioiiKh tliat word has brea inurh used. Ke- 
jorni is no doidit the prricnre; but it is too 
obvious that Ibr rejil olijf'cl is power. It is 
to throw thf powrr ol thrRUite iulo the hands 
of jMipulnr Irndrrs, who thrnisrlvf:s would be 
bMl, tiH thry ;irn in itnothcr rounlry, by the 

(trnllrnirn, it is nrnHesn to enlarge ii|)on 
tlii>; tri|ii( . I will only br{( Iruve to read a 
pRssti^r wliirh strut k inr ii goiKl deal in an 
ndniiinhlr spfrrh lately ilrlivrrnl in the par- 
rMiucnl of lirlnnd, wdrrr this matter is put 
in a I Inir point <»f view. •• The rash career, 
lUiil lutal ruii<(ri|uriuTS of a rcfoiniing spirit, 
ha VI' latrly brrii hrou)cht before our view by 
fticln H) si liking luid impressive, that what 
was formerly ronjerluir, is now eonviilion; 
and ifwr will not liillowtlie example of others, 
we n»ay possibly add to future misfortunes, 
till' agftravsition of <«elf n'nr«»,icli. The pro- 
pn «is iH natural, and is applieable as a warn- 
ing; to rvrry eouulry in Ivurope ; for there is so 
murli ui\ifornul\ in the uahire and prweed- 
in^^ol nianjhal in their eombinalioiiNul must 
ah\:»>'' ^inular r-uivs produre similar elVctls, 
sinulai « onihtions similar eonst'ipicmes, and 
thrrefoiv I do not he<^itate to say, with every 
degviM' o1 rr*pei't and alVeftion for the people 
.let in j: xvUlnii theii p»oj»er spheiv. with every 
degree of lonvjclion. that their h;»ppiiie?s is 
the * hirl euil and iA\\fy\ ofevrry giHHi i;overn- 
menl ; \ lio not hesitate to say. that there 
nevTv ha* brrn an m^'tanre in ar.v a^e or 
eomUn. ni \xhiih ^v.IiIumI povrr ^la* l>cen 
av«u«iri^ t^\ the loMTi oviler* v^f thr i>r*","»le. 
bx thi^*r w|;o^r ri^i.*at;rn i« rj;ni^ran»'e. \vho»^ 
^ondjiion IS nnrevl;«nit> . who>«* patnmonv i* 
hooe, aud wh^^*.r empnr mn*t br commotu''n. 
vhitl^ lia« nol ^MV\o*1 suli\r;M\c of iiUtIv. 
I'.rs'.v"., nx r iM iV.r penrvai h a }Y' '•"»<" "'J^. ■'^•"»^^ I'^T- 
tienijtii'* rnt,-.itoiV^te to 1hl^^r t*ho Ctrc \hc 
ar,th,Mv 0*11 " 

^X c rr ft r X f.^ r. ! . r r ; 1 1 . ^ »>•..■.•.■. .■ "i"s n ( w <s.-, ■. x , 1 

psv» u'v. '•. \ •p.'.C.:.-, I i,-. have \c:\*\ i.\ a 
s-n\ a»i Mit UxA »r,v.-. rrjv.Mvs Tlir ftii 
thoi o:"^ hal K^.^K. sm,^njE .'-ihrr t I'.ino. *V'Wpare5 
% Mstf t<-^ ? *.l.ip. sind If iN a ^^^:x", »*»r pciLap* 
a table (Knt ii i» tt<> mnuei whlrh^, ot* the 
rnmofaahipKaxingtalcttiill A their heftds 

to say, what right has «iich a man to be a 
master ? What right has such aaother to sit 
at the helm and be pilot ? Have we not all 
aa much skill, axMl are we not all eoual by 
nature? Upon this thev immediately pro- 
ceeded to areas themsefves in the officers 
clothes; to get drunk with their liquors ; and 
having taken the command of the ship, 
the consequence was, they steered her upon 
rocks and hhoals, and the whole crew, officers 
and men, peri&hed in one indiscriminate 

Gentlemen, before you proceed to consider 
tlic proof, it is necessary that you should un* 
derstand with accuracy what the law of trea- 
son is upon which you are to judge, I mean 
tliat branch of it which is connect^ with the 
present business. 

[Here his lordship gave the same precise state 
of the law of treason that he had done in 
the case of Watt, to which, therefore, it 
will be sufficient to refer.] 

Gentlemen, it does not seem necessary to 
trouble you faithcr upon the argument in law, 
which appears to me to be sufficiently clear, 
and the same is the opinion of my brother 

judges. 1 shall only put this farther case to 
you by way of illustration. Let me suppose 
that the rebellion in 1745 had not gone the 
length of an actual rising in arms, and taking 
the field ; that it had been stopt and prevent- 
ed in the very outset ? but that nevertheless 
the persons concerned had settled their plans 
of operation ; that arms had been commis- 
bioncd from France, some actually provided, 
and other such preliminary measures taken. 
In such circumstances, it could not have been 
s;iid that (here was any actual levying of war, 
and, therefore, a charge of high treason against 
any of the parlies concerned, could not have 
been laid upon that branch of the statute ; 
but can there he any doubt that it would have 
been a punl charge upon the other branch, 
the circumstances afore s^aid being alleged as 
overt acts of compassing the king's deatn ? 

(icntlemen, submitting these observations 
to you in point of law. f shall endeavour to 
be short in st.<tin^ what I have to say upon 
the evidence, wnich ought, in a great mea- 
sure, to be left to v our "own consule ration, as 
you are to be the judges of it, and not the 

The indictment is branched ou; into a va- 
rictx of ;ir; ides, but they resolve ^abstantiaUy 

j into A \CT\ tfw. 

I ist. That the prisc-ncr. a: org with others, 

'■ ro-.'isiiUe*'. .\r.i conspired to yr..K-urc a meeting 

I ii- V»f hiiii ;:ni^fr iltC r.Airje c-f a ccuvention, 

t^-r the p;i:j«».s^ . ;' ii>; the powers of go- 

viTnmrrit ^hz .t:iis!.ii;.'n. Tcv.;css;ng alleged 

v::ifvan*xs.i.r-»; ;-::r»^i;-|: jxtv-i:: rtriaiachan^K. 

•;ndl}, Triat -..hf/ diu afiu-ux meet, cao- 

. suit, and a^Tw, ibout Ci^r. pc-ling the king by 
force of arms to alter ir*c measures cigortTo^ 

' mmv, to intnoducr nem lair», and to conqAy 
mith ccrtiia <krmindt> 

fm High Treason. 

3n1I asulted and conspired 

out fe< ^ Jeof Edifi burgh J al lack- 

and surprising the ktng*s forces, aod lak- 
' possession of certain public offices, and 
(IS 10 authority. 

it they instigated and excited a 
MS to assist in their measures, 
Lirley to go about as an emis- 
^fv '.., 13 of the' country, to coIJect 

m Qs; and that, in prosecution 

^r • s, they caused pikes, 

iji like instnmients, to be 

C^: tiiero farcibly to resist the 
• rninent. 
V* .s- .v.^^.^ iw the 1st, vi^. the project of a 
coorentkn, I am umvillin^ to go back lo the 
proccedmg^ '^'ftlit' « onvcntiou, actually held 
la Edmbtjr^ i he British Convention, 

K^hicb *»^aa <i u December, 17 93 ; be- 

csia^ it *cci been the understand* 

ofhbtii ivocalc, wlieii the pri- 

waa adduced ah a witness in some of the 
fQf sedition, ^^hich ensued upon that 
^ that he himself should not be tried 
t}img then done. But, it is by no 
foreign to the purpose, that the na- 
the^ proceedings should be ua- 
m order, that it may appear, 
iCT llie prisoner, notwithstanding his 
released from all accusation as to what 
i« in that convention, did immediately 
rda proceed in adopting similar niea- 
sotl, in conjunction wuh others, his 
ibrming the plan of a new general 
eoiifvaillofi for the like purposes, although 
Ibey acquiesced in the legality of what the 
•iirfHraitd the magistrate*^ of Edinburgh had 
m dispersing the former, as they took 
ep lo counteract it by application to a 
tii Uw. Instead of openly coni plaining 
itionof tho^e magistrates, which 
L :'y might have done, had their own 

|rccecaii)rB been legal^ we lind them mecling 
agaia liia eiandestine manner,and instituting 
Committees of Union, and of Ways and 
in the view of sending delegates to a 
Inieiuled convention to be held m some 
even spoke out by themselves. It 
Uiat they appointed Fairley as an 
couafafy . for tlie purpose of collecting money 
la be Mged in the hand>j of this prisoner, 
«lu» art* their treasurer, and a zealous mem- 
har »f hpfttii the comn^itrre* already mention* 

A. 0. l?<>k 



III lit-' 
10 til 

Umat uUf cbarg' i i 

Ciedb? the tomut 
ce» wludi w€fO r< 
h| alcadjf preMnt«:«J 

of these contrihu- 
I i-nse of sendinaMJe- 
l ucwconvention. This 
-are lo, both by MCub- 

and other heads under 

K' libf rtv of classing the 
.11 1 Mils prisoner; it is 

.; : . ' i : I II- r UTittfii evi- 
lly V- 


it was b\ no menus the in- 
of theae aocieties to proceed anj 
In tMl wajr; tut it was their deiermi* 

ned plan, by means of a genera! convention 
and by other violent methods, to carry Ihtil 
measures into execution; and vou wiitcon^iJ 
dcr, whether there are not su&cient cirruiu 
stances to show, that the prisoner, as an 
tive member, and treasurer of the Secrt^t Con 
mitlecs at Edinburgh, \\*as a principal part; 
to all those wicked designs, by which th 
king*s government was to be ovcrturnedl 
One material circumstance is, the plan or pro 
ject which is said lo have been furmea b^ 
Wall, and communicated by hira lu this pr 
soner, and other members of the Cotnmitlei 
of Ways and Means, of seizing upon the Caft 
lie of Edinburgh, and the judges, ^c. With 
regard lo this, it appears, upon the evidenc 
of no less than three different witnesses, thai 
a paper, containing such a plan, was read aV 
a meeting of that committee, where the pri« 
soncr was present ; it was read by Watt, and 
dissented lo by tw^o of those present, M'E wan 
and Bon throne, but not by the prisoner. You 
are to consider what weight is to l>e laid upon 
the circumstances of the prisoner's silence, 
and neither approving of the measure propos- 
ed, nor disapproving of it, by words or sig;nc 
of any kind. You will no doubt also keep ill 
view, that there is no direct evidence ot his*^ 
having had any previous knowledge of this 
paper ; and M^Ewansays, ** He does not know 
that the subject of this paper was cither spoka' 
of again at that mecling, or ut any subsi>-* 
queni meeting ; that the plan seemed to he 
entirely W^alt s, who altered lomethin^ in it/' 
Bonthrone also sayn, he did not consider the 
proposal as made to the Committee, but en- 
tirely as a *'phren/y" of Wall's. At the 
same time, it is proved, thai the prisoner did 
not signify either surprise or dissent, though 
M*Ewan and Bonthrone did so, and uflcr- 
wards absented themselves, as they told you, 
from those meetings ; — the prisoner did not 
act in that munncr, but continued an active 
member of the committees, along with Wall* 
Gentlemen, there is another circuinstant^c 
which connects, in some degree, with tlial 
which has been just spoken to, and has a 
very strong and slrikmg appearance ;"the 
purpose of seizing upon the (asile of Edin- 
burgh, surround iiig ihc soldiers, and taking 
prisoners ilie diflerent persons in hi^h public 
characters in ihiacily ; and seizing the public 
Bank, and Excise omce, could not possibly be 
carried into execution, without pulling arms 
into the hands of those who were lo be em- 
ployed ; so that arms were i lobe 
provided; and it is clearly i it the 
prisoner waa tujually conct'ni«<i \mui >V all, in 
apply mg to Urruck ihe hinilh, and oibt'r9, 
and givmg dirctnons aboul making the wea- 
pons now lying on the table. Orrock's evi- 
dence was very strong upon this head, and 
one of the instrumcnU wm actually found in 
his (Dowoie's) possession, bv Margaret 
Whitccross, the servant maidL How it came 
into his liands, does not appear. Of thiM, you^ 
must form your own conjectures. He 




Trial of David Dotonie 


been late out the night preceding, and it was 
found early the next morning by the maid-SGr* 
vant in his dining roum ; and almost itnme- 
diatcly after, it was taken away and kept out 
of view. Suiuetliing was afterwards said by 
Mrs. Downie, in the presence of the servant- 
nuiid, i^Miut finding this instrument in the 
dining-room. iSho said to the prisoner, what 
have you done with the large dtvidint^-knit'e 
or carving-knife, which Charles found h) the 
dining room ? or something to that purpose ; 
upon which the prisoner said, he had locked 
it up. 'ihis circumstance appears unfavoiir- 
:ible to the prisoner ; althotigh it is a possfiblc 
case, that the instrument may have been left 
in the room, not by the prisoner, but without 
his knowledge by his son, who appears, from 
the servant-maid's evidence, to have risen 
out of bis bed at an early hour in the morn- 
ing, and taken it away, when he heard her in 
the room. 

Another circumstance^ which seems pretty 
clearly brought home to this prisoner is, his 
accession to the inHanimatory address intend- 
ed for the fencibic soldiers, and to the use 
made of it at Dalkeith, as sworn to by several 
witnesses. The efloct of this I submit en> 
tirely to yourselves, being doubtful whether 
Qoy weight ought to be given to it, as not be* 
iug specifically stated ni the indictment ; 
tliougn tlicre arc genenil wunls in some of 
the articles, under v/hich tho counsel for his 
majesty endeavoured to bhow, that any at- 
tempt to excite rebellion or insurrection in 
the country mi^ht be introduced. 

Witli these observations, I shall leave the 
case in your hands. If, upon due considera- 
tion of tne whole, you shall be of opinion, that 
the prisoner, and those with whom he asso- 
ciated, had no bad design against the king or 
^vernment of this country; that they are 
unjustly accused of something they liad no 
idea of themselves ; in short, that the pri- 
soner is an innocent man : or, if nou think it a 
doubtful case, your leaning oii<;ht to be for 
innocence. But if, on the other hand, from 
:iil the circumstances that have been brouj;ht 
in evidence before you (which I have stated 
a^ well as I could do at this late hour), you are 
satisfied tltat there is sufficient evidence to 
briog home to the pri!>oner any of the overt 
acts which arc necessary in point of law to 
constitute the crime of hiu;h treason ; 1 need 
scarcely obscrx'e to geutleiuen of your >itua- 
tion and character,^ Uiat you arc bound, by 
tlie solemn oath wliich you have taken^ and 
by the duty which you owe to yourselves and 
the country, to pronounce a verdict against 
the prisoner, wliatcver the consciiueuic ni;iy 
be. It is not your province to slww cv)ni|nis- 
sion or nu^rcy. If any such idea canariacat 
uU, it must come from a different quarter. It 
is your duty to find the truth, and nuthiuj: but 
the truth, ami this I have no doubt will be 
understood by you. 

The jury retired for about half an luMir; 

when they retumcd, they were called over by 
the clerk of Arraigns, and each answered to 
bis name. 

CUrk of Arraigns, — Gentlemen of the Jurr 
are you agreed in your verdict. Who stiail 
say for you ? 

Jury. — Our foreman. 

Clerk of Arraif^nn, — David Downie, hold 
up your hand [which he diJj. — Gentlemen of 
the jury, look upon the prisoner. How say 
ye? Is the prisoner jjuilly of this high trea- 
son, whereof he stands indicted ; guilty or not 

Foreman of the Jury, — ^David Downie is 

Clerk of Arraigns. — Gentlemen, what 
goods or chattels, lauds or tenements, had he 
at the time the high treason was committed, 
or at any time since, to your knowledge ? 

Juri/. — None to our knowledge. 

Clerk if Arraigns. — Then hearken to your 
verdict, as the Court hath recorded it. You 
say, that David Downie is guilty of high trea- 
son, whereof he stands indicted ; but that lie 
had no goods or chattels, lands nor tenements, 
at the time of the high treason committed| 
or at any time since to your knowledge. 

Jury. — I'pon account of certain circum- 
stances, we desire lo recommend the prisoner 
to mere v. 

It heinp; past four oVlock in the mominv^ 
on Saturday, Si'plruibcr the Gth, the Court aa- 
journed to twelve o'clock on the same day. 

Saturday September Gth. 

The Court met this day at twelve o'clock, 
an;reeable to adjournment. Tho following 
iiidgcs were present; lord president, lord chief 
baron, lord Eskgrove, baron Norton, lord 

The prisoners Rolicrt Watt and David 
Downie being brought to the bar, 

Mr. JlaiiiiUim * counsel for Ilobert Watt said : 

My Lord President ;— In the situation in 
whicli i am placed in this case, I feel my- 
self called upon to let no point or circuni. 
stance whatever escape, which I conceive can 
be of any aid or benefit to the prisoner, and to 
the defence of his life with whirti I have been 
entrusted ; — I therefore, my loni, feel it to be 
my duly, now to state in arre>t of judgment 
upon ti:c j^risoner at ifie bar, 1st, that there is 
an absohitc nullity in the commission 
itsoif, under the authority of which this Court 
has acti^i ; and. 2nd, tlut there is a manifest 
in formality and defective btylc in the iiidict- 
UKMit, which uui>t nL-cessaVily prevent any 
jutlijMieut heiiii; logjlly prouotuued upon il. 

I pon the first ut these plea>, I must call 
tho aiieniion of the t'uurt. to the act uf parlia- 
■ ' ' —~~ ■ ■ ' " I" ■ ' ■'" 

* Thi* was, in the original oviition of Dow- 
Die's trial, reported wry incorrectly: Mr. 
iiamilton has tiimished me with an accurate 
account of his speech, of which I have hero 
availed myself. 

Jiif High Treoiou. 

Itii fd Anne, c, ^l, ** For improving 
tb« ilM^tt of the iwo kin^OottiV by which it 
it m^ms$g4f ** th^i b«c maiesly may i^^im out 
I of Oyer %QQ Terminer in Scot- 
, 10 Micti iKCsons a% 1 

MilBliiwkin nf Oy«| and Termin^r^ whereof 
ftt l# 1m of thi» quorum/' Aod it is also 
|PiKd» ^'lliat Habere any such commi&siou 
vfOjrfraiid Tormuiflf, aball i^sue, pursuautto 
(li^i^i iM4(Jti Ui fui eicculed within any dis- 
Uid where there is n ju.nicp trrneral, or per- 
«D liAynog ' iiohadjuris- 

MiM ID t<^ .at the time 

iflpikJPig Um& <a£t, ir^in auU afler the time 
liiiilich fight N oiadc appear hefore the 

Uu less I' I.' ' ■ ■ 

lord prcsJiJ' . . 

Mr. baron IN urU'U, luu: lit r^ji^ 

[191 1 

rlilute u courU 

so might the lord meVidcni, with the lord 
chief baron and lord Alva ; and in like maa« | 
ner, willi lord Alva, and Mr. biiron Norton* 
vet n«'' 
the t. 
then* : 

^:!gh all in ' 
Ky, It 19 

'•■^Ai henq 
, that no ^ 
1, havci ia 
n is not j 
V.CII place 




or «uch ' 




; au( h justice ge- 

- ii^ht ol [xiblU 

IfyWUieir shall be in 

!l; one ol the quo* 
statute, imf^ue;*- 
iim a» a sine qun 
II Ice^l court tan 
tion is apph' 
iiy ; three of 
limc^, ULcording to the sta- 
\fK itt if»^nib^is nf the courtfor 

liic t4 1 But what 

iHo roy * present in- 

Mitb</n;« r .MHi VI. ur lurd^hips will 
4nVTlfil§ly mMk, wbclh< r that commission 
hii tneii VRirii in thi^ lernis auLhurizcd by 
9>(fk!m 7th of queen Anne.; and if 
,..v,.,t,.... 1 1. It it is no legal com- 
lich has pasicd 

It \^ arcoriTnii'Iv 

t . 

ky ttod »«kn 

aiont it con 

I sImH danuu.itr.i l m.4u- 

Fur bc: ^ of iiH- 

ly» tli« luiti jii:itice Llcrk, lord 

jiji4 lord Kskgrovc, to whom 

M added; 

' and rc- 

tnt: Ljuuumii the 

>f ^ssion is alt»o, 

' •" ^'*' r MO of the 


. ink, the 


as one 

in fjom 

mS't an- 

i^nd all 

• it. 




lii'vil/cil hy tin: - : '; 1 

answer to Ihi' 
such courts as i 
fact, been forrutd; a^ L 
Jacti^ but jurn^-WfA to v^ i 
but to whai ive taktu pUc€ according 

to the ten c commission. But it is 

j^ufhcient to make out, that this commission 
has overleaped the enaUmeut of queen Anne, 
by force of which alone^ it could exist at all ; 
«nd it is on thai account unauthorized and 
illej5al,and • ^ ..i - -. -- which Live followed 
under it, r , or receive effert. 

Your Ili , r .adily consider, that 

the strictest interpretation is always moi-t 
justly given to statutes which contain any 
enactments relative to criminal justice ; this 
rule is fixed in fuvorem vUue^ and admits of 
no exception or deviation; and upon that prior 
ciple^ the same strictness of mterpretatioa 
must be given to the statute of queen Anne^ 
which introduced and estuLUshed the court 
before whom an ofTence of this high criminal 
nature can be brougltt to trial. It i^ not 
indeed necessary to ar^ue for a Iia)ited and 
narrow construction ; Jur there cannot, I sub- 
mit, be a doubty that a commisBion has beea 
iasuedi not in term* of the statute, hut whicli 
< ifHii>i in iIlc sinallest pari'f iili*r l>t ih-st^nii-d 
ilie conuii 

I J prescribi - 

ly ; and uo jud^uient m the prisbt^ol Wr 
e. can be pronounced. 

J iiough I do, my Jord, rely, with much ccmv 
fidence, upon what I have just now stated, it 
is proper, at the »ame time, to call your atten- 
tion to the second ground of objection, tipon 
which I contend ihat no jucL ' imst 
the prisoner at the bar can be \ 1. 

Y^our lordships are fully aw air, ui all 
indictments or charges of a criminal nature, 
certain technical wordii and phr4Ses aic unt* 
formly required. This is a rule in our ow» 

fjfocedure; and according to the law of Eng* 
and, on which we are now pioceeding, pecu- 
har nicely is, 1 find, otscrveu. 1 hiivr Inokr I 
into some of the law books and i<: 
and I have found that in any indicii 
felony, whether for or murder, tiiou^U 
the preci-^c di^y is Jniated upon which tilt 
malii ; " V ^^ril^ 

the a_ >ary 

: ' ' ■ iHJ ComjiHJUUU nl t,. ■' 

I indiccited and was ] 

ih as to iv^^'" •"' • 
cd inmii 
-..,.., ^..J the fact, I... J . 



Trial of David Dofunie 


In the caic accordingly of an iadlctrocnt for 
munier, wf herein a precise day was affixed to 
fbe cc^Dceived malice^ it would^ notwithstand- 
ing, as I understand, be defective, unless the 
place where, and the time of giving the fatal 
stroke, were connected with the time of form- 
ing the design to kill. The words of style 
adopted to make out and announce that con- 
nexion^ formerly were adtunc et iUdem ; and 
since the statutes 4th Geo. ^nd,c, «6, and dth 
Geo. Sod; c. lA^thtn and t^ercare theiecbni- 
cal expressions in observance* 

In support of these positions I must refer 
your lordships to lord chief justice Haie, who 
in the Pleas of the Crown, part 2, c. 25, 
•* Concerning the form of Indictments," p, 
178, — observes that ** In an indictment of 
felony, there must be adtunc £t ibidem to the 
stroke or to the robbery, and the day and place 
of the assault is not sufficient, and this in fa- 
vor cm vittt. And therefore it is usual to repeat 
the Qdtunc ci ibidem to the several parts of 
the fact, as in larceny or robbery from the 
person/* and he then states various examples 
— thus : " A is indicted ^uodprimo die Maii, 
Anno 2ndo EliirfOpud C, habent in manH m& 
dejtrd gladtuw^ S^c, percustit B., and it is not 
said adtunc tt ibidem percustit, quashed, be- 
cause the day and year and place, relate to 
the having of the sword, not to the stroke.** 
Serjeant Hawkins, book 2, c. 95, of Indict- 
ment^ and in regard lo specifying lime and 
placCf gives an opinion to the same import, 
as to iSe necessity of the terms adtunc H ibi- 
dem being repeated in the subsequent clauses 
of an iudidmf nt ; and it is observed^ that 
* If omitted, judgment may be arrested — 
Strange 901," This rule has, so far as I can 
learn ^ been uniformly followed and observed 
in practice. In the indictment against Ha- 
milton, governor of Carlisle, in the year 1746, 
which appears to have been the precedent, 
and was the rule upon which all the indict- 
ments in the trials at that unhappy period 
were framed, and which is given at length by 
air Michael Foster in his Report, p. 5, 6, it 
will be found, that after specifying the precise 
place and date to the main charge of the trea- 
son, the aggravating circumstances, and va. 
rious overt acts, are carcixilly connected with 
the icclmical words of reference then and 
there^ which are accordingly cautiously re- 

fieated in relation to all the acts charged. 
Reads that indictment from Foster] » And 
this rule was confirmed in the case of Rhen* 
wick Williams, tried on 8th July, 1790, re- 
jKjrlcd by Mr. Leach, case 236, where the 
tmiission to connect the acts charged by the 
copulatives then and there was fatal to the 

Now upon looking into the indictment in 
the present ca^<», it certainly does not appfsr 
ttiat the I in 1746» quoted from Fo!u 

tcr, has wed. It has, on the ceo - 

tnisybeii departed fii>ni, inaftniueh 

I the I ; words then 4tu/ ihete, 

ttrv not ff^»4 Lrr^iiiuiug to Old to be found m 

it,— The rule of style in an indicttnent for 
murder b equally applicable to a ca§e of 
treason. The compassing and imagining the 
death of the kin^, and the traitorous desiea 
to do so, is the crime charged : and in order 
to make the indictment complete, the overt 
act or acts specified, should have been con« 
nected by a (^i and f Aere, with the period 
at which the evil imagination, manifested bj 
such acts, was conceived. — This has not beca 
done, so that the indictment is rendered, I 
conceive, defective. And at all events the 
precetlent in 1746, which has always been re- 
garded as the fixed leg^d style of an indict- 
menl for criminal charges of this descriptioo^ 
has been lost sight of and disregarded. And 
upon these grounds, accordingly, I move your 
lordships, tnat no judgment upon the pri- 
soner can in the present instance be legally 

Mr, Ji'hn Clerks counsel for Mr. Doviue^ 
stated, that though, in point of law, the ob- 
jections urged by Mr. Hamiilon, would, if au»- 
tained, be equally available to his client; yet 
he did not mean to insist upon them. He 
had been recommended to mercy by a most 
respectable jury of his countrymen, and huin- 
bly threw himself upon his majesty^s cle^^ 

Mr. Anstruthcr in answer to the second of 
Mr. Hamilton's objections, stated that it was 
undoubtedly necessary, when the lime and 
place was specially condescended upon only 
m the first count of the indictment, tore- 
peat the words then and there at the other 
counts : but that, in this case, the time and 
place were especially condescended upon at 
every separate count m the indictment. 

In answer to the other point arsjued by Mr* 
Hamilton, Mr Anstntther statcci, that the 
meaain^ of the legislature, in dcclurmg^ that 
tliree o? the lords of justiciary should l)c in 
the commission, and one of the quorum, wa», 
that the common people of this country 
might not think that they were tu be tried 
entirely by strangers, but that some persons 
acquainted with tne laws of their own country 
should be among their judges. He contended 
the act of parliament had been completely 
cumpHed with in the present ca»e. The iocd 
justice general, and lord justice Clerk, lo> 
gcthcr with the whole judges of ju^ti* ' 
were in the commission; and the lord ju 
general, lord justice Clerk, and two of 
commissioners of iustkiury, were declared, 
along with the lord president of tin- • nurt of 
session, to be of the qtiorum. M Ijcpc 

contended, that it wa» not the m^ liic. 

statute that none but the lord ju 
lord justice Clerk, and lords con 
justiciary, should l#e a qtiorum, bui that 
of them should be of th«? quorum, alon^ 
such 0?! 


had br 
that noiii 

lyesty Chhomd t 
(j«,al least, of the 


n/7] J^ Higk Treason. 

wbicliirayU ftutborize any objectioii upon the 

A. D. 1794. 


The Courl unnnimotssly repelled both ob- 

A UCT XH n t steps of form, prockmation ^iis 

id« hy iht) cryefp aoa (silence being or- 

Mr- KJmpp cie^ircd Uobert Watt to 

lip tic§ hand ; upoti which he read to him 

tkw n> ■ 1 lor which be was tried, 

d — ^ charges you plead Not 

ami c^^i vuurbelf upon God and your 

^ ; that country has found you Guilly. — 

you any reason to assign why the sen- 

of the Idw, which is Death, ahould not 

m he recited to David Downie. 
remained silent. 


I Zord Pretident then addressed the pri- 
» at IbUowa : — 

trt Watt* David Downie;— That pari 
duty which remains to be perfonned 
1^ tltta €3oiirt, is a most dislressing one, but 
tllielcs»t You had Uie mtsfor- 

Mlo be '» that bar, under the 

r^Mirge vi iir;;u trea&on; and after the 
iooMiry, and most fair and impartial 
P jott Cttire each of you been convicted, 
r Qiouanious voice of most respectable 
inaa of jour country^ as guilty of that alro- 
loiis crime. 

Tile cvkleDGe on which the verdicts pro- 
mM_ waft such as left no room for doubt or 
j; and the pubhc roust be completely 
ih*t the consequence was unavoid* 

I /oor designs been carried into ejiecti' 
Ibo, bjr so a<^lual insurrection of those de- 
hM fitefV whose leaders you appear in a 
omsi me^afor^ to have lieen, although in the 
j^n miat have failed, yei^ in tne mean 
ft Kcne of unutterable distress^ 
. _ _ J and bloodshed must have ensued, 
Ait Ihe Wry idea of it is horrible. 
ftftrfalftiicf^ to an cstiiblished government 
only be justified by the pica of absolute 
todiapeniable necessity. iVnd this can 
«aisl without the most unequivocal 
of il : and the most general concur- 
lli*- sres which become ne* 

«/ this country at 

n in 1688 ; but no 

n J 11 If- 1 degree of truth or 

I' tut such necessity occurs at 

if K.t '' •iitti ihcre has been less 

1 o#c> 1 it any period since this 

ftmi ^s, ^-A.^.tucc. No material cir- 

haa happened in the present reign, 

iticki^ h:ivr pivcn occasion for any 

, it is to be imputed 

' '' ?i;!n!iof bad and des- 

Eoe4i , that such daring 

la h- made here, and 


of the 

liut li ts iu be Uo{>t^U^ liiAi the vi- 

gilance of the executive govemracnl, and the 
strong arm of the law, will be sufficient for 
our protection ; and I also hope and trust, that 
what has now befallen you^ will be such an 
admonition to others, that there will be itttla 
danger of such execrable plans being agaia 
thought of, for a lon^ period to come. 

You have yet a little time to reflect seriously 
tipon your past conduct, and to prepare for 
that awful change which is soon to follow. 
Let me esthort you to make the best use of 
your time, and to apply for assistance to 
those who can assist you in such important 

It only remains to pronounce the sentence 
of the law, which is in these words t^ — 


The Court doth adjudge, that you, and each 
of you, be drawn upon a hurdle to the place 
of execution ; that you be there hanged by 
the neck, but not until you are dead; and 
that being alive, you, and each of you, i>e cut 
down^ and your bowels taken out, and burnt 
before your face. That each of your heads 
be severed from your bodies ; and your bo- 
dies divided into four parts; and that your 
heads and quarters be disposed of a% the king 
shall think titi and so the Lord have mercy 
upon your souls ! 

This is the sentence of the law; and I give 
farther notice to you, and to each of you, that 
tins sentence will be carried bto execulion, 
upon Wednesday the 15th of October next, 
between the hours of twelve at noon, and 
four in the afternoon, in terms of a precept 
to that effect, which will be delivered to the 
sheriff; this notice 1 give you by order of the 

They received the dreadful sentence with 
much firmness and composure, and were im- 
mediately conducted to the CasUe* 

The following account of the execution of 
Robert Watt is taken from the New Aonual 
licgislerfor the year 1794; — 

" Edinburgh, October 10. — Yesterday, 
about half' past one o'clock, the two junior 
magistrates, with white rods in their hands, 
white gloves, &c,, the Uev. Pdncipal B^ird^ 
and a number of constables, uttended by the 
town officers, and the city guiird hiiing the 
streets, walked in procession iroro the council 
chamber to the east end of the C:i«;tle*hill, 
when a message was sent to the i^hcfitf m the 
Castle, that they were there waiting to re- 
ceive the prisoner, Robert Wait, lie was 
immediately placed in a hurdle, with his back 
to the horse, and Ihe executioner, with a , 
large axe in his hiind, took his scut opposite 
to him at the furihcr cud of the hurdle. 

** The procession then set out from the 
Castle, the sheriffs wsilking in front, with 
white rods in their hands, white gloves, &c* ; 
a number of country constables surrounding 
the hurdle^ and the military keeping off tiie 



TritU of Tkmat Hardy 


crowd. In this in!iiin«?r they prt?c^edpd fill 
they joined ihe mag^istraic^, when the mili- 
tary returned to the Cai4]e, and then the 
procession was conducted iti ibe follovviiig 
order:— The city con^ubles; town oflicers 
barc'hciided ; baiiic Lothian^ and bailie Dal- 
rymnle; Uev. PrinrtpJ Buird; Mr. Sheriff 
ClctK, and Mr. Sherlfi Davidson ; a number 
of country constables; the hurdle paintetl 
LlfickT nnd dnwn bvm ip^hite horse; a num* 
her ^ ties. The citv giianl, 

linr olF the crowcf. 

*• V^ inn iHr V ij.tuM:;(rliCd IhO TOlboOlh doOf, 

the prisoner Wiis t^iken from the hurdle, and 
conflicted into the prison, where u conside- 
rable time was spmit ia drvotional enerci^iea- 
The prisoner ilicn came out upon the plat- 
form, attci»ded Ly the magistrates, the she* 
rilBi Principal Bkird| &c. Some time was 

tli«fi speiit in prayer and singing psidms; 
after which the prisoner mountcctlie drop- 
board, and was taunched into oteriii^. 

** VMicii the body was taken down^it wia 
stretched upon a table, and the ejecuttaner^ 
with two hlows of the axe, severed off th» 
head^ which was received into a basket, umI 
thMi held up to the multitude« while thu 
eittcuiioner called aloud ' Thi$ \$ tfm head ^'^ 
» Ira /ft»r» iand to perith &il tmitan,*** — New 
Ann, Keg , 17«H, n. 58. That pan of ih# 
sentence which relates to being quaitovd, 
^c. had been previously remitted. 

David DowBie, in consequence of the re- 

commendation of tbejurv by whom lie waa 
tried* received his Majesty^s Pardon. 

604. The Trial of Tbomas Hardy for High Treason, before the 
Court holden under a Special Commission of Oyer and 
Terminer, at the Sessions House in the Old Bailey, on the 
28lh, 29th, 30tb, and 3lst days of October, and the 1st, 3d, 
4th, and 5th days of November: 35 Geobge HI. i. p*- 

On ihe tenth day of September^ 1194, a 
eial cummi^^ion of Oyer and Terminer 
issued under the Great Seal of Great 
Britain to inquire of certain high treasons ami 
misprisions of treason within the county of 

On Thursday, the second of October, the 
f^peciut conuni^sion was opened at the 8cssion 
house in Clerkenwcll : 

the rizht honourable sir James 

' '* -^ f u?,ticeof hi^ : - " V> 
the right ' 

..^.J, knt. lunl cL.i . i.^i.>ti 
trt of Exchequer; the ho- 

' I'ltnl Hnlli:ini knt. nnf of 

IljTe. kii^ 
court of I 
tir A^-»' 
of 1 
the barons ot 

quer: the her. . i 

<jne of the justiccj* ol ins nmjtUy's court of 
c:cinmt>n picas; the honourable sir N:uh 
Grose, kni, one of the justices of hi 
foint of King's4)cnch; the liom 
^ ftl*' ' lice, knt one of the jii^liccs uf 

I court of KmgVbt'uch; and 

BCr> ui'^ m.t^ ■ ' ' \'c. 

After the ♦ ! been read. \hv 

tkhcrifl' dchvrriia m ihe panel or ' 
jury, whirh WYis culled ovrr, when i 
iiig ' 1 were sworn i— 

ULi a 111 3hort4iaad by JtmfkQmn^'. 


BcnJ. Win til ropy esq. Samuel Hawklni^ 
J. U. Schneider, esq. ~ 
Edw, Iron Slide, esq. 


Benj. Kenton, esq 
IL IL Boddam, esq* 
John Ari^, esq. 
VVm. P. A!lct,esq. 
John Perrv. esq. 
TL P. Kuif, esq. 
Thos. Winslow, esq, 
Thomas Cole, esq. 

Lord Chief Justice 
the Grand Inqnesl ; - 
under the authority of t 
which hu^ l)ccn issued i 

uuthurUy ut 
That whi* 


confusion^ \^ 

rr:inrpi*' .1 r 

George Ward, taq 
Thomas Boddam, esq. 
Jos, Lancaster, cmj, 
Robt. Wilkinson, esq, 
G.G. Mills esq. 
Henry Wright, esq. 
John Ilatchott, esq. 
R, Stevenson, esq. 
John Campbell, e&<|. 

Evrr*— Gentlemen of 

u^tt£oo, and 

c p^rauni 



oecasbn far Hill 

* ^'V^a )at6 

tnd df^ 





Jkr High Tnamn. 

A. D* 1794. 


thn firtt ii\A d!M(«e step in tKis, as m 
Ofdituy'i !nminal proceedings, ift, thai • 
^houid Dtake jviiblic 
on ! Uould diligeDtly in- 

B^lliicovEr, and briug forwiirti lo the view 
Ibft ertiniiiiii majri^-^ritf*^ thii:>e otfence?* 

I to lkr*f iind to d^ 

['ecial comnaia- 


I L lord the 


n;L iiir II tie nature 

Mjd. The king com- 

»^H inqmry; but 

t] :■ vn alt its other 

^, J -Lilies ultimately 

I le. It is the king's 

iioate his peace, nis 

feii becau5e his peace, his 

ir. ' . are the subjecls' prolec- 

^ir ind their ham>ines9. 

l!ti th#^m thiit tlie laws have 

B!ir I round the per- 

I 1 , and that all 

la^air^ ' i rare con- 

%B Uie rh can be 

d, aHfiai* piuiiiiicu wiLji a severity 

aoilimi^ but the mIus popvH am 

y calls upon me Tin 

tif r nnderstand tnc 

t ymi) to open 

e, which I have 


,95 Edward Srd, has de- 

- to you so 

-tion asap- 

I rubabk relation to 

^af * : : high trea- 

«< Lih of the 

>fti'* II- and imagi- 

Ih: ae act or acts 

(I I ! i ive been done 

f- rution of that 

. , that i% from 
H ked imacinalion of 

ri , Tliri! snv ?>teps are 

iftAy itiatitief ct>i! ' the bring- 

il and rAcctin^ U^ . the iutcn- 

the crime, aud the measure of 

re technically deno- 

1 the forms of pro- 

-^ that 

IV set 

eii- ovprl art* involve them in two 

\^i 'n!>; ist, the matter of 

rnnni^t ; In the next 
p design* 
■>f facl» it 
1 t#c U, ■ .■ into the 

t ftiste V tiUle to 

r to your coramtniugn fespccUug It : and^ 

will » tiie question, le fact 

ha- 1 ' ' the rJcizn, *:< > titale 

an overt act if U 

involves cons 1 1 ly, 

it i"? impossible that any i:tf Uin niit bhouid be 
laid down for your governmetit ; overt acts 
being in their nature all the pos^^ibte mean» 
whicli may be used in the prosecution of the 
end proposed; they can be no otherwise 
defined^ and must remain for ever infinitely 

Thus far, T can inform yout that occasions 
have unhappily, hut too frequently, brought 
overt acts of this species of treason under con- 
sideration ; in const^cpieuce of which we are 
furnished with judicial opinions upou man^ 
of them ? aod we are also I'urnlshed with opi- 
nions (drawn from these sources) of text 
writers— some of the wisest and mo5t enlijrht* 
encd men of their time, whoso 1) ' 3 

been always cotisidered as the u. ii- 

nent feature of their character, autl whose 
doctrines do now form great land- marks, by 
which posterity will be enabled to trace, wilfi 
a great dei^ee of certainty, the boundary 

lines btt" '- * ' -^- '-^" i-on, sind ufiences of « 

lower or 

It is 11 ...,....*«.;. v..,v;imi?t:in-^' •^'-' we are 
thus assisted ; for it is not uibled 

thatj though the crime o! - _; ^ion is 
*' the greatest crime against taith, duty, and 
human society,'' and though, ** the public is 
deeply interested in every prosecution of Ihis 
kind well founded,'' there hath been, in the 
best times, a considerable degree of jealousy 
on the Subject of prosecutions fur hi^h Irej^- 
son ; they are state prosecutions, and the con- 
sequences to the party accused are penal in 
the extreme. 

Jurors andjudg:cs ought to feel an extraordi- 

na!7 anxiety that prosecutions of this nature 

should proceed upon solid grounds. I can 

easily r^-^rf iv^ therefore, that it must be a 

great rr rs placed in the responsible 

situation ...J I YOU now stand bound to do 

I justice to I heir country and to the persona 

I accused, and anxious 1u discharge this trust 

! faithhiHy ; sure 1 am that it is consolation and 

comfort to us, who have upon us the rcspon- 

sibdity of declaring what the law is, in cases 

in whirh tiie public and the individual are §0 

dei I i Hied; to have such men as the 

gr< I hew Hale, and an eminent judge 

ofrur owM tmies, wlio^ with the experience 

of a century concurs wiiti him in opinion, sit 

Michael Foster, for our guides. 

I To proce<^d by steps: htrni these wrlteri 

, upon the law of treason (who speak, as I 

j have before observed, upon tbe authority of ad- 

.judged cases) we learn, that not only acts of 

immediate aud direct attempt against the 

king's life are overt acts of compassing his 

deathp but that all the remoter steps, uken 

with a view to us^i^t, \r> hnri'z !ihout the actiml 

attempt* are • 

of treason ; * 

iOg Whftt Bteps StlOUlti be Ufv^jR in 

order 10 j 




Trial of TItomat Hardy 



bring abgut the end proi>osGd, has beeo &Iw7iy5 
deemed tu be »n act done in prosecution of 
the design, and as sucb ao overt act of this 
treason — This is our first step in die present 
inquiry. I proceed to observe that the overt 
acts I have been now speaking of have refer- 
ence, nearer or more remote, to a direct and im- 
niediate attempt upon the life of the king; but 
thai the same authority informs us that they 
who aim directly at the li^e of the kmg (sucb, 
for ju'^^^"'' ^* the persons who were con- 
cerned a-ssiDation plot, m the reign 
of kin^i jy fu-enol the only persons who 
can be said to compass or imagine the death 
f>f the king. The entering into measures 
which, in the nature of tilings, or in lbej;om- 
mon experience of mankind, do obviously lend 
to bring the life of the king into danger, is 
ailso compassing and imaginmc the death of 
~' e king ; and the measures which are taken 
ill be at once evidence of the compassing, 
tod overt acts oi it. 

The instances which are put by sir Matthew 
Hale and bir Michael Foster (and upon which 
there have been adjudged casesj are of conspi* 
iftcies to depose the kmg ; to im]>risoD him ; 
to get his person into the power gf the conspi- 
rators ; to procure an invasion of the kingdom. 
The first of tliesc, apparcrjtly the strongest 
case, and coming the nearest to the direct at- 
tempt a^inst the hfe uf the king; the last, 
the farthest removed from that direct attempt, 
but being a measure tending to de^itroy the 
public peace of the country to introduce hos- 
tilities, and the necessity of resisting force by 
force, and where it is obvious, that the con- 
flict has an ultimate tendency to bring Uie 
yerson and ht'e of the king into jeopard)r ; it 
u taken to be a sound construction of the 
statute 25 Edward Srd« and the clear law of 
the land, that this is also compassing and 
imagining the death of the king. 

If a conspiracy to depose or to imprison 
the king, to get his person into the power of 
the conspirators, or to procure an invasion of 
the kingdom, involves in it the compassing 
and imagining of his death and if steps taken 
in prosecution of such a conspiracy are rightly 
deemed overt acts of the treason of imagining 
mnd compassing the king*s death : need 1 ado, 
that if it should appear that it has entered 
into the heart of any man who is a subject of 
this coimlry, to design, to overthrow the 
whole government of the country, to pull 
down aud to subvert from its very foundations 
the British monarchy, that glorious fabric 
which it has been the work of ages to eroct, 
inaintam and support, which has been co- 
in ted with the oest blood of our ancestors ; 
design such a horrible ruin and devastation, 
*cl] no king could survive, a crime of such 
a magnitude that no lawgiver in this country 
hath ever ventured to contemplate itin its whole 
extent ; need I add, 1 saVt Unit the com plica- 
tii';: ■.. ' ■'.'■ " ' ■ * t, I - irh a do- 

»i.. ily seen, 

of the kmg is involved in it, b, ia triab* of 
its very essence. 

This is too plain a case to require 1 
illustration from me* If any man of pli 
sense, but not conversant with subjects 
this nature, should feel himself disposed 
ask whether a conspiracy of this i>. 
be reached by this medium only ; t{ 

is a specific treason to com pa- 
the death of the king, and no^ 
son to conspire to subvert i..u. ,, 
itself; 1 answer, that the statute of Edwiip 
3rd, by which we are governed!, halh i: 
declared this (which in all just theory 
treason is the greatest of all treasons} to I 
hi^h treason* 

I said no lawgiver bad ever ventured 
contemplate it in its whole extent; the mdUk 
regni, spoken of by some ot' our ancie 
writers, cornea the nearest to it, but falls 
short of it ; perhaps if it were now a queslic . 
whether such a conspiracy should be made i 
specific treason, it nught be argued to be UQ 
necessary : that in securing the person ma 
authority of the king from all Jangcr, th 
monarchy, the religion and laws of our counlr, 
are incidentally secured ; that the constitution 
of our government is so framed, that 
imperial crown of the realm b the coma 
centre of the whole ; that all traitorY>U9 < 
tempts upon any part of it are iastant)| 
communicated to Umt centre, and fell there; 
and that, as upon every principle of public 
poliqr and justice they are punishable as 
traitorous attempts against the king's pcr'jon 
or authority, anu will, according to the parti- 
cular nature of the trditorous atrr V ' 
witl^n one or other of the speciti 
against the king, declared by the bUiu^c 
25 Edward 3rd ; this greatest of all treafionai 
sufficiently provided against by law, 

Genllemen, I presume, 1 hardly need gii 
you this caution, that though it has been m 
pressly declared, by the highest authority^ 
that there do exist in this country men capable • 
of meditating the destruction of the constitu* | 
tion under which we live ; that dtfclaratioo^ 
being extrajudicial, is not a ground upon wUkh 
you ought to proceed. 

In conseouenccof that declaration it becamt 
a public ana indispensable duty of his majesty 
to institute this solemn proceeding, and I 
impose upon you the painful task ol examii 
ing the accusations which shall be brougb 
before you ; but it will be your duty la ei 
amine them in a regular judiciiil course, Ui« 
is, by hearing tlie evidence, and forming your 
own judgment upon it. 

And here, as I do not think it necessary 
trouble you with observations upon the oi 
branches of the statute 25 £> , tl: 

charge to the grand inquest iJL .rid« 

had not Uie particular nature ol the 
alleged to nave been formed ai: 
state, her. ' , ' ' - * ' fj 

pubhc no^ 

houses ol ^>^uuaiU(;Ui.» iiwrSV iu t.\t^y viit 4, 

hr High Tnasm, 

tnl that being tlie case, I am apprc- 

ii¥i} th«t I shall not be ibon^ht to have 

Sled the duty, which the Jutt^e owes to 

t grami juTjy when questions m the criminal 

iriie on new and exlraordtnary cases of 

if I did not plainly and distincliy state 

hat I conceive the law to be, or what doubts 

may arise in law, upon the facta 

^. I irc likeW to be laid before you, accord- 

ig U> the diiierent points of view in which 
base facts may aj^pear to you* 
It i% mailer of public notoriety that there 
aire been associations formed in this county, 
"/in giber parts of tlie kingdom, the prt>- 
l pofpose of which has been a change in 
omistilution of the Comuiuns House of 
and the obtaining of annuai par- 
and that to some of these associa- 
other purposes, hidden under this veil, 
es* the most traitorous, have been 
and that some of these associations 
supposed to have actually adopted 
I of 8uch^ nature^ and to nave gone 
I macb accesses, as will amount to the crime 
riiigli trcftsoo. 

If lhef<e be ground to consider the professed 
fiq>oie of any of these associations, a reform 
laMrliamcnt,as mere colour, and as a pretext 
Md out tn order to cover deeper designs — 
ifsi^ni ag;unst the whole constitution and 
enl of the country ; the case of those 
in such designs i^ that which I 
already ctinsidered. Whether this be 
aov ^ t>o^* ^ mere matter of fact; as to which 
I iball oolir remind you, that an inquiry into 
acbtf^s of this nature/ which undertakes to 
mibt OQl that the ostensible purpose is a 
mm€ ml, under which is concealed a trai- 
^BfOiia eofMpf racy, requires cool and deliberate 
ntion, and the most attentive conside- 
; ami thai the result should be perfectly 
aiid tatiifaetory* In the affairs of com- 
Ills, no man is justified in imputing to 
til / TV to what he himself 

, ' 1 1 lest evidence. On 

•Other uif. tne charge can be 

out , I ^ to the crime meditated 

cpeii ,. ...u^tion and treachery, with 
t to tiiose individuais, who may be 
in to embark in theo&tensible yiurpose, 
««U ai to the public, aeainst which this 
*k mjrimtf of wickedness is fabricated. 
if i»e suppose these associations to 
to the professed purpose, and to have 
ruhmari/ object, »t Tnuy be asked, is it 
and (if it be poKi^ble) by wtiat pro- 
it, that an assocmrion for the reform of 
it can work itself up to the crime of 
raasoof All iri nay, all men 

iflltcy pO!«%CF ly of ihmkin^, 

ufioti every 1**,**,^ .>uich sufficiently 
Uiom to become objects of their 
itkNitaiui ammie the objects of the at ten- 
of free taesi, toe principles of govern- 
ibs eomilliitioii of particular govem- 
afidyaboTc ail» Uie con^iituUon of the 
i| imda wJiich they live^ will natu- 

A. D. 17M, 


rally engage attention, and provoke specula- 
tion. The power of communication of thoughts 
and opinions is tlic gilt of God, and thafrceSoni 
of it is the source of all science, the first fruits 
and the ultimate happiness of society ; and 
therefore it seems to follow, that human lawt 
ought not to interpose, nay» cannot interpose, 
to prevent the communication of sentiments 
and opinions in vol untarjr assemblies of men; 
all which is true, with this single reservation^ 
thai those assemblies are to be so composed, 
and so conducted, as not to endanger the 
public peace and good order of the government 
under which they hve ; and I shSl not state 
lo you that associations and assemblies of 
men, for the purpose of obtaining a reform in 
the interior constitution of the British parlia- 
ment, are simply unlawful ; but, on the other 
hand, I must slate lo you, that they may but 
too easily degenerate, and become unlawful^ 
in the highest degree, even to the enormous 
estent of the crime of high treason. 

The process is very simple : let us imagine 
Id ourselves this case ; a few well meaning 
men conceive that they and their fellow 
subjects labour under some grievance ; they 
assemble peaceably to deliberate on the means 
of obtaining redress; the numbers increase ; 
the discussion grows animated, eager^ and 
violent ; a rash measure is proposed, adopted, 
and acted upon ; who can say where this shall 
stop, and that these men, who originally 
assembled peaceably, shall not iinally, and 
suddenly too, involve themselves in the crime 
of high treason ? It is apparent how easily 
an impetuous man may precipitate such as- 
semblies into crimes of unforeseen magnitude, 
and danger to the state ; but, let it be con- 
sidered, that bad men may also find their way 
into such assemblies* and use the innocent 
purposes of their association as the stalking 
norse to their purposes of a very different 
complexion. How easy for such men to 
practise upon the creduhty and the enthusiasm 
of honest men, lovers of their country, loyal 
to their prince, but eagerly bent upon some 
speculative improvements in the frame, and 
internal roediauism of the government? If 
we suppose bad men to have once gained an 
ascendancy in an assembly of this description, 
popular in its constitution, and having popular 
objects; how easy is it for such men to plunge 
such an assembly into the mo^t criminal ei* 
cesses? Thus far I am speaking in general, 
merely to ilhistrate the proposition, that men 
who assemble in i-rder to procure a reform of 
parliament may iivolve themselves in the 
guilt of high treason » 

The notoriety to which I have alluded leads 
me to suppose, thaltlie project of a convention 
of the ]>eoplc to be assembled under the 
advice and direction of some of these societies, 
or of delegations from them, will be the lead- 
ing fdct, which will be laid before vou in ev>» 
dcnce, respecting the conduct, and measures 
of these associations ; a project, which per- 
haps, in better timcSf would nave been hardly 


thmight worthy of crave con sidera lion ; but, 
in these *jnr days "aving been atlempted to 
\f^ put > ' on in a distant p;irt of the 

united '^^<^f with the example uf a 

iwighl untry before our eye*; is 

( 4e6crv 'fi ayi object of the jealousy 

I of our iiivv^ : n, will lie your ': '■ *- rxamine 
the evidence on thi» hencl ^ i ly* and 

to sift it to the boUom ; to c ,,,,,, . , vi/rv part 
0<*it in iljelf, nnd as it elands connected with 
Other parts of it, and to draw the tcurlu.sion 
of fad, as to the existence, the md 

the abject of this project of ;i lyu, 

frora the whole. 

In the course of the evidence you will pro* 
bably hear of bodies of men hnving been col- 
lected together, of violent resolutions veled at 
theae amd ttt other meetingt, of fionie prepara* 
liofi of ofien&ive weapons, and of the adoption 
of iho taogwige, and manner of proceeding of 
lho6e conventions in France, which have pos* 
aessed tbemselfis of the government of that 
muMry I I dwell not on the$e particulars, 
liecaiite I consider them^ not as substantive 
trf4£onS| but, as ctrcumslamres of evutence, 
tending to a^^ertain the true a*tur« of the 
object which these persons had in view, and 
also the true nature of thie* project of a con- 
Tentiofi, and to be considered by you in the 
tnasa of that evidence ; which evidence it 
dbea oot fall within the province of the charge 
to consider in detail ; my present duly is, to 
inforoi vou what tlie law is upon the matter of 
fact, which in your judgoaent shall be tlie 
result of the evidence, 

I presume that 1 have sufficiently eiplained 

t# i^p tliat a project to brinj^ the neople 

|i logelber in convcolion, in imitation or those 

{ Wrtlftflal conventions which we have heard of 

m Fitace^ in order to usurp the government 

of tie couotry, and any one step taken towards 

bfinglog it about, such as, fur iostance, con^ 

iuUaiions, forming of commiltees to con- 

i iiyder of thfl means, acting in those committees, 

t would ba a case of no di faculty that it would 
W llie ckare&t \ on; it would be 

COopMailig and ^; the king's deaths 

and not only his dcadi, but the death and 
destruction of ail order, religion, laws, all 
property! ail security tor tlie lives and liberties 
of toe June's subjects. 

That which rrr— * V- -,^.;.k— .^ j^^ 
the project of a r ole 

object the effoci ^,, .,«„j«^of 

i«|»reaciitatioa «*: i pvliaAottl, 

and thff nhtaimng ,- ►is ihould h<^ 

b- Ify ; and 

d»^ ^^ Such a I 

takiig It to be ainiinai, may becrumnai in 
difatiil dtgreesi according to the case in 
evidence, trom whence you are to oolleol the 
|nic nature and eatent of the plan, and the 
inattner in which it ^ 
eail il «tU become a (. 

what oia^") uf uuucit U ongnx to 

Trial of Thamat Uardtf 

quality of this project of a oonvenlbn, ye 
will lay down to yoursolvea one principle 
which is never to be departed from, thai! 
alterations in the represventation of the peopl#] 
in parliament, or in the law K : ' ' 
hamcnts can only t>e effected I v 

of the King, Lords, and Comuiuii^, m pAnia^j 
ment assembled, This Wing taken as a fo< 
ilij;, n \\ ^-eerns to follow as -^ 
jce, a project of a c- 
idd liaVL' for il:^ <iiju i t iL 
a parliamentar 
of parlki-ni^nt. 
be hi 
is a 

Tlie ^ovxijiuiciu t.< 
the tunctions of k^ 
moment; and it Ihcu L 
sequence indeed^ that t! 
tors, perhaps, had onlyni«U] 
moderate reform : it ib in the i 
that the power should l'^ ■ 
arul be beyond tlie re.i 
A conspiracy of this nuu..,. .. ».^ 
best, a conspiracy to overturn tl 
ment, in order to new model it. \s 
eliect, to introduce anarchy, 
anarchy may chance to i»etii 
after the king may have been broii 
scaffold, and after the country > 
suffered all the miseries which diKofd mA\ 
civil war shall have (nroduced. 

Wheihef the project of a cor 
ing for iia olitJ^ot the oollecL 
power whkh should overawe llie it^jibluuv 
body, and en tort a parUanieatary reform froa 
it, if acted upon, wt^' :^ - iuiount to big 
treason, and to Uu eason i^i coin^l 

parsing and imagini ' '<''■«, 

moreooubtlul que^ £ 

a fort**" utiritli thf \>-Ar 

tcgi.i . 

can hnvo no etiect at all, i^ 
in parliamrnt by the kmg's n^ 
with the ttdvioe asd eenieoioi die Luids 
Co m monf^ , i n parliwenl aasem hi <^ d A for 
med I mat the parlian^ 

a for led againat tht ^ 

' ihe ease of a lorrr 

<;, to compel him i 

ca^, it di 

rented by u.^ ,., ..... 

clear law, that 
such aibrce« m 
.s respectir 

of I: 


•l»e khig 

^ h iaoftht ver. 
will t>e fit to Ir iiier«i, aj>o i 

leruiinod whiri irise. 

It may beaiikitfu t^yuuni^ciear, thai the | 


|n we L 

refute : 


voaid not I 




WSki I 


ft"»f i; 

vou X,\IV. 

Jbr High Treason. 

El, having for Its s^ole object a 
bleapplica.tio[i to the wisdom 
*'r\. of a wished- for 
hoi lid be tntiiled 
in- iiriivir>Juy of 
intent the 
lint or to 
ui the peliiion (grcut as Ihe 
: 1 be on the persons c oncer n- 
' I the many probable, and 
I id cdDsequcfJces ofcoilect- 
sber ol people together, with 
1 powers to be exercised, and 
rt]t*Dt but that of their own 
it in itself merit to be ranked 
> of offences which we are 
- hear and determine, 
♦ 'trmeat of the fact of the 
Lipon^ and therefore it 
; tr me to say more. 
ii vvilj now proceed upon the 
r inquir}*, which have been 
] find that the par- 
. before you, have 
Jul L'uds by lawful means, 
indiiicrcet, or al the worst if 
v have not been criminal to 
c Irciisuns lo whjcli our in 
cd, th«!n say^ that the bills 
t*:enled to you are not true 
« rhearcuscd persons shall 
hecn engaged in that 
U- roji-,r^n irv described 
! !' length 

. c vet ac^tcd upon 
. oi* bringing about 
uuiuon of the commons 
or in the manner of 
ut the authority of 
uf it, by an usurp- 
in that instance, 
illy of llic kin^, 
!"^' r»ta?*»emble3, 
n «f legisla- 
te a conspi- 
and con«»ti- 
1 only in the 
you will tUeu do thai 
office to do, 
: tlic case of the accused 
I tind them involved in, 
t de^^i^n to collect the 
- 1 the legislative autho- 
'F the purpose, not of 
. of the lej^i'^l.iture, but 
iment, and *o compel- 
lud comn»ons, in par- 
ri.Hci a law for new 
use of parhamcnt, 
aiiriii^ . iind that 
^ii mam- 
I J only: 
-pect of 
rous ex- 
LumpJc'Xiun uf such a 
which 1 slate to you as 

A. D. lIHs 


a new and a doubtful case, should be put inlo_^ 
a judicbl course of inquiry, that it may recciva 
a solemn adjudication, whether it will, or wilf 
not, amount to hi^h treason, in order U) which 
the bills must be found to be true bills. 

Gentlemen, I h^ive not opened to you th| 
law of misprision of treason, because I as 
not aware that there are any commitment 
for that offence ; and therefore I have no rea 
^n to suppose that there will be any pros 
cutioQ for that offence. It consists of \Y. 
concealment of treason committed by others' 
(which undoubtedly it is every man's duty lo 
disclose), and the pumshmeot is extremely 
severe; hut ihe Immauily of modern times 
hath usually interposed^ and 1 trus^t that Ih^ 
necessities of the present hour will not de ' 
mand, that the law of misprision of trcasoU 
should now be carried iniu execution. 

Gentlemen, 1 dismiss you with confideii1| 
expectation that your judgment will be direct 
ed to those conclusions which ma^ clear iivfl 
Docent men from all suspicion of guilt, bring 
the g_"»Ity to condign punishment, preserve 
the lite ot our gracioas sovereign, serure the 
stability of our government, ana maintain the 
public peace, in'which comprehensive term is 
inchided the welfare and happiness of the£ 
people under the protection of the laws and 
liberties of tiie kingdom. ♦ 

- - - — I ■ - . ^-. 

* Immediately after the publication of thiM 
charge, appeared a short examinaiiun of th^ 
doctrines maintained in it, under the title of 
" Cursory Strictures on the Charge delivered 
by lord chief justice Eyre to the Grand 
Jur>% October 3, J 79 1 " fins tr.ict, although 
now somewhat scarce, drew much ittentiun, 
and excited much interest at the time ; I have 
sufficient authority for stating thai it whs com- 
posed by the late iMr, Fclis Vau^han, who if 
will be observed was api>ointetf counsel fofj 
one of the persoas arraigned, and wlvo acie ^ 
as assistant counsel on Uiis and the following 

It is as follows I 


A snecial commission was opened on th 
sccona day of October, for the tri^il of tcrtau^J 
persons appreliended upon suspicion of high" 
treason^ the greater part of whom were take 
into custody in the month of May, 1794^] 
Upon this occa*iion a charge was delivered 
the ^mnd jury, by sir James Eyre, lord chief 
justice of the court of Common Picas. 

It is one of the first privileges of an English* 
man, one of the firs^t Jtitics of » rational * 
iiijl, to dlsvcuss with perfect frcetlom, all pric 
ciples proposed to he enforced unou genera 
cibscrvance, when those principles ary first 
disclosed, and before they have yel, liy any 
solemn and final proceeding, been matic pa 
of a reg;ular established system. Ihe chief 
justice, in hischarge to the jury, has delivered 
many new and extraordinary doctrines upon 
the subject of treason. These doctrines^ novi 



35 GEORO£ in. 

Tlie sbcriiT relumed into tlic court tlic 
ipaiiel of tlie petit jurors. 

Oh Monday, October the sixtli, the grand 
jury felurnetf a true till against Thomas 

i^hen Ihoy have been for the lirsl time stated, 
it is fit we should examine. In that exaroi- 
nation, I shall deliver my opinions in a man- 
per perfectly frank and cxphcit. No man 
should seek to offend high a:uthorriies and 
elevated magistracy ; but ihc object before us 
IS of an importance paraniount to thet>c con- 
siderations. Decorum is an excellent thing ; 
;We ought not to sacrifice to the fastidious 
toenls Of decorum, all that is most firm 
Curity, Or most estimable in social insli- 

The chief justice has pronused a pulvlication 
of his charge, and 1 should have been glad to 
liavc wailed for the oppurtiinily of an authen- 
tic copy, Bui there arc only a few days remain- 
ing previous to the commencement of trials, 
of "the highest expectation, and most unlimited 
importance. He who thinks, as 1 think, that 
the best principles of civil government, and 
I Atl tliai our ancestors roost affection ale ly 
loved, arc strtick at in the most Hagranl marT- 
tier in this charge, will feel that there is not 
an hour to be lost. While I animadvert 
upon its enormities, it is with some pleasure 
that I shall reflect upon the possibility of the 
©nonuilies being aggnivated or created by the 
imperfect and irregular form of the publica- 
tion before me. Every fricod of his country 
will participate the highest satisfaction, til 
finding them answered, oy a regular publico- 
lion o* the charge to the grand jury, stripped 
of the illegal and destructive docUines thai 
now appear to pollute it. 

Among the various branches of the English 
constitution that have for centuries been a 
topic of unbounded praise, there is none, that 
has been more, or more deservedly, applauded, 
than tiiut which relates to the law of treason . 
" The crime of high treason/^ says chief jus- 
tice Kyrc,* ** though the greatest crime against 
failii, diilVt and human society, and though 
the public is deeply interested in every well- 
iouh ' ' 'utiou of this kind, has yet, at 

the I , been the object of consider- 

able jr. n : -r>pect of the prosecutions 

in^liluttr 1 ; they are stale prosecu- 

tions/' I; ; ...... lore of the utmost conse- 
quence, that the crime of hidi treason should 
be clearly defined, and the exquisite jea- 
lousy allaye<h which must otherwise arise in 
every benevolent mind. This has been done 

• *• lie add% • it is noi to be d 
— liViU any on** veniure to say, Ihm 
ofli ' ' luble, if lUcy cuuUl, 

in 1 1 I value to the Aubieti ; 

Trthi of fhomt Jffardi/ [StS 

Itardy, John Ilorrte Tooke, .TohA Aifgustui! 
Bonoey, Stewart Ryd, Jeremiah Joyce, Th6- 
mas ^^ urdle, Thom'a^^ llolcrotX John Kichlcr. 
Matthew Moore, John Thelwalh Richard 
Hodgson, and Julin Baxter, for high treason. 

by the act S5 Kdivard 3rd, one of th^ great 

fialladinms of the English conslitation. Thi* 
Liw has been sanctioned by the * ol' 

more than four centuries ; and, i iasr 

been repeatedly attacked by tlit tiintMrh- 
ments of tyrannical princes, and the dcci.<iu«s 
of profligate judges, Englishmen have always 
found Unnecessary in the sequel to btrip it of 
mischievous appendages and arlitii iitl izlosses 
and restore it to its original simpf i u^ 

trc. By this law all treason, e\( _ jfa 

few articles of little general concern, is con- 
fined to the * lc>'ying war against the king 
within the realm, and the compassing or 
imagining the death of the king.* Nay, the 
wise framers of the law were not contented to 
stop here ; they not only shut out the mis* 
chief of arbitniry and constructive treason for 
themselves, but' Inserted a particular clanse, 
povjding that * if in any future i^"-^ '» f"''::ht 
DC necessary to declare any new \ .at 

should only !je done by a direct ^u , .i..^ of 
parliament for that special purpose.*' 

It is obvious upon the face of this wise and 
moderate law, that it made it ciitremcly diffi- 
cult for a bad kin|^, or an unprincipled admi- 
iiistMtion, to gratify their res^t mst 

a pertinacious oppooeni by insiii .lujii 

him a charge ot treason. Such kings and 
ministers would not fail to complain, that the 
law of Edward Jrd shut up the crime wilhia 
loo narrow bounds ; thai a subtle adversary 
of the public peace would easily evade these 
gross and palpable de^nitions; and that 
crimes of the highest magnitude, and most 
dangerous tendency, might be committed, 
which could never be brought under these 
dry, short, and inflexible classes. It is not to 
be denied, that some mischief might arise 
from so careful, lenient, and unbloo'dy a pro- 
vision. No doubt oftences might fjc oon- 
ceived, not less dangerous to the public wel- 
fare, than tlioso described in the act ond«»r 
cu ij. But our ancestors 

1 1 to this inconvenience, ?r 

it II V ijij im ans such n- ^ - - ' * ' vje. 

They experienced a , Si 

proud atul hi '- i --^ - * '- 

J'tal4a<% wl, 
mischief of e .., .i. 
sionatly be employed 
crinihiib. IfwcViti 
poliry, lei us hew 
n HTortil vrnOtn i: , mI 

', icc hu:^ ( ' ■ 

ut .i.iiig Ktl: " ' ' ' 

siiit^ anditii 

c donotMibslJintCei 



Jw High T>'foson. 

A. D. I7M. 


J*>bn Lavctt 
On Tuesd^, October the sieventh, Tbomas 

• tksl ibey who aim dLrectly at the lile of the 

}ri»i» arr nnt tKr ortlv otriiuQS^ who O^y be 

n his dcuth. The 

fri I'll in I he MLitnrf' 

0( ' 

f-t , _ .' _ , , -, 

afi4 iiAi^guuij^ iiii^ ilc»ilh uJ Uic kiu^; ani 
tbt f*i'^*«te^ whicli itre takeiJ^wiU be at gute 
fi -anti overt acts of 

lie put un(i<;r this 
^^itjr and sir Matthew 
' liifre have been ad- 
c* VL " t; ,ur, viz*] of a 

t to iajprUon 

to gel iu- , u.>,.jii ..itu iiiL power of the 
ilors, and to procure an invasion of 
ioui/^ H* furtlu r states, ** that oc- 
^tkftve nii iut too frequently 

^ lit orcf t at I ; species of trerisoii 
seder c jn, in conseauence of which 

vtaie f' ^ with judicial QpinioDs upun 

■10^ of iik^Uh We are also furnished with 
'^' T» dmwn from thcbe sources, of text 
i^^utne of the wisest and inost cphghtr 
i t/f tht'ir lime, whose integrity has 
A as the most promioent 
lof |h' Ml', and whose doctrines 

IbrtJi 1 marks, by which pos^ 

fill I to trace with con&idcr- 

icert ■ ' * ' niary line between hieh 

fa lower order and ife- 
le circumstance/* con- 
,** that we are thus us- 
ijoceive that it must he 
pliiced in the responsi- 
yon now stand; and 
I lion and comfort 
u' responsibility of 
U the i<iw IS, in cases Iq which 
ad the individual are so deeply 

preamble of the chief justice, 

' nething extremely hu- 

I trace in it the lan- 

' tiwyer, a sound lo- 

ereel, and honest 

I'W by just decrees 

V as^ it is, and de- 

Lif-Liinst new, un- 


il his neck to 

ly admiiiistralion ; 

I able principles of 

1 tu iry by them, and 

ri^ thjit are brought be- 

> himself, and 

y cODbolation 

tw, and force 

V are to con- 

.u lilt *t;alr|i, and the 

n ivUo have been the 


la atl Ihiti 
Ikn it u£;t 

|^a[|t of n. • 

leii huu 

Holcroft voluntarily surrendesred himself ia 
court, and was conunittcd to Newgale, 

At the request of the several prisoners the 
-- - „ ___ ^ 

Meanwhile what wotdd be said by our coi\* 1 
temporaries and by our posterity, if ttib picture 1 
wore to be reversed; if tiic^e pivmise^ were * 
ij^iiie, only to render our diMi'iiuijUiULntl 
bitter; iftlie^ehiwh pru i 

■ ly as an introduction to :l ^ , 

iiiii^s of arbitrary con s true Uo us, vf iicw-litapj 
gled treasons, and doctriues equally inconsl9*> j 
tent with history aud iheniselvcs : I hope f 
these appearances will not be found i^, 
the authentic charge. But whoever be thp i 
unprincipled impostor, that thus audaciously ! 
saps the vitals of human hberty and human ' 
happiness, be he printer, or be he jud^^e, it is * 
the duty of every friend to mankind to deled j 
aud expose his sophistries. 

Chief Justice Eyre, after having stated thp i 
treasons which are most strictly wuhin the I 
act of lid ward 3rd, as well as those which are < 
sanctioned by high law authorities, and upon J 
which there have been adjudged cases, pro- 
ceeds to reason in the following manner : 

" If a conspiracy to depose or imprison the 
king, to gel his person into the power ot the j 
conspirators, or procure an invasion of the] 
kingdom, involves in it the compassing and 
iroagming his death, and if steps taken iaj 
prosecution of such a conspiracy, are rightlyi 
deemed overt acts of the treason of corapas**! 
sing the kind's death, what ought to he oi^ J 
judgment, if it should appear that it liad eu- 
\cred into the heart of any man» who is a sub- ' 
jectofthis country, to desi;;u to overthrow ihpj 
whole government of the country, to pulll 
down aud to subvert from its very foundatiousi 
the British monarchy, that glorious fabric, J 
which it has been the work ol'agcs lo er^ct^T 
maintain, and support; which has beence-j 
mentcd with the Lest blood of our ancestors;! 
to design such a horrible ruin and devasfcatioOyfl 
which no king could survive." 

Here we are presented with a queslio^'] 
which is no doubt of the utmost magnitude j 
and importance. Is the proceeding thusde-J 
scribed mailer of high treason, or is it not? j 
It confessedly does not come within the letter i 
of 25 Edward 3rd. It does not come withia 1 
the remoter instances " upon which theris J 
have been adjudged «!ases/' Chief Justice I 
Eyre has already enumerated these, aud, h^ I 
ving finished that part of hii subject, gone o|l ' 
lo something confessedly different. 

Arc we reasoning respecting law, or re- 
specting a state of society, which, having no J 
tixed rules of law, is obliged to con!^u!t the] 
dictates of its own discretion? Plainly the , 
forniLT. It follows, therefore, that the aggra^ ] 
vations collected by the chief justice, are tc>«J 
tally foreign lo the question he had to con-1 
sider. Let it be granted, that tlie crime, ml 
the eye of reason and discrrtion, is the motill 
enonuous, that It cua enter mlQ the heaEl < 



Trial of Thomai Hardif 


fa) lowing gentlcnicn were assigned by tlie 
Court as their counsel -, — for, 

Thomas Uatdy^^Mr* Erskine, Mr. Gibba. 

John Home Tooke, — Mr. Erskinc, Mr. 

inan to conceive, still I shalJ have a riglit to 
ask l3 it a crime against law P Show me the 
sUtiJtc that describes it; refer nie to the pre- 
cedent by which it is definccl ■ quote me li»c 
adjudged case in which a matter of such iia« 
paralleled magnitude is selUed. 

Let us know the ground upon which we 
stand. Are w*e to unders^lana that, under 
chief justice Eyre, and the other judges of the 
special f ommission, rea**onii>^* are to be ad- 
duced frora the axioms and cfictums of moral- 
ists and metaphysicians, and Ihat men are to 
be convicted, sentenced, and executed, upon 
these? Are we to understand that hence- 
ibrtti the man most deeply read in the laws 
of his country, ana n.ost assiduously conform- 
ing his actions to ihem, shall be liable to be 
arrai<*ned and capitally puni<^hed for a crime 
that no law describes, that no ureccdent or 
"adjudged case ascertjiins, at tlie arbitrary 
pleasure of the administration for the time 
Deing? Such a tniserabie miscellany of law 
and metaphysical nr.ixin*s, would ha ten thou- 
sand times worbf, tiian if wc had no law to 
direct *>ur actunis, The law in that case 
would be a mere trap to delude us to our ruin 
creating a fancied security, an apparent clear- 
ness and detinitiou» the belter to cover the 
concealed pitfalls with which we arc on every 
'side surrounded. 

1 he chief justice is by no means unaware 
ef the tremendous consequences that would 
result from such an admini*^tration of criminal 
law, lie speaks respecting it, when the sub- 
ject is first stitrted, with great temperance 
and rautiwi. Ue says, "That Ihe crime of 
conspiring lo overthrow tlie monarchy, is 
such an one, as no lawgiver in this country 
han ever ventured to contemplate in its whole 
extent* If any man of plain sense, hut not 
conversant with subjects of this nature, should 
feel himself disposed to ask, whether a con- 
spiracy of this extraordinary nature is to be 
reached by the statute of treasons^ whether it 
is a specific treason to compass and imagine 
the death of the king, and not a spccihc trea- 
fon lo conspire to subvert the monarchy it- 
self? I answer, that the statvtte of Edward Urd, 
by which we are bound, has not declared 
this, which undoubtedly in all just theory of 
treason is the greatest of all treasons, to be a 
cific high treason, 1 said, no lawgiver had 
ventured to contemplate it in its whole 

The language here employed is no doubt 
manly and decisive. From hence it follows, 
with the most irrcfiistildc evidence, that that 
'• w^ '" ' ' tr by which we are bound, 
lia^ * be treason,'* Itiat ** which 

no 1..W.U.'-; "— i-vcr ventured to contcin^ 

John Augustus Bonney, — Mr, Erskine, 
Mr Gibbs. 

Stewart Kyd,— Mr. Erskinc, Mr. Gibbs. 

Jeremiah Joyce, — Mr. Erskine, Mr. Felix 

till all law is ^annihilated, and all maxims 
of jurisprtidence trampled under foot and 

No author has reasoned with f^rr-itr r :\rr\i'' 
racyi and in a more satisfactory i on 

this important branch of the Eui; I i au- 

lion than the celebrated David Hume, in his 
History of England. Ihis author is well 
known lo have been sutliciently favourable to 
the prerogative, yet his reasonings upon this 
subject, in the case of lord Strafforde, arc as 
mmutcly applicable to the case before us, as 
if he had written them with the proceedings 
of the special commission of October, 1794, 
lying before him upon his table, 

" Of all species uf guilt, the law of England 
has, with the most scrupulous CKactnc«.s, de.- 
fined that of treason; because on that side it 
was found most necessary to urotcct the sub- 
ject a^am si the violence of the king and of 
his ministers. In the famous statute of Ed- 
ward 3rd, all the kinds of trcitsonn arc enume- 
rated ; and every other cnine, beside such as 
are there expressly meniii>ncd, is carefully 
excluded from that Hjtpellarion. But witn 
regard to this guilt An endeuvour ta nuhrert 
the fundtiutcntut fnwx^ the statute of trrasun is 
totally silent ; and arbilrarily lo inir.^lnce it 
into the fatal catalogue, is itself a subversion 
of all law; and, under colour of defendiag li- 
berty, reverses a ?.latute the bei»t calculated 
for the security of liberty, that was ever enact- 
ed by an English parliament,*' Vol. vi, chap, 
liv, p. 403. 

The fullowingare a few seulences from the 
defence of lord Strafforde, as quoted by Mr. 
Hume, a nt^blenvan, whom the republicans of 
that time so vehemently hated, and were so 
fixed to destroy, as to render them little scru- 
pulous of overstepping tlie simple and uu^ 
tending provisions of the law, 

*♦ Wlicre has this species of guilt lain so 
lone concealed? Where has this fire been 
so long litiried, during so many centuries, 
that no smukc should appear till \x burst out 
at once to consume me and my children f 
Better it were to live under no law at ail, and, 
by the maxims* of cautious prudence, to con- 
form ourselves the best wc can to the arbi-^ 
irarj' wdl of a master, than fancy we have a 
Jaw on which we can rely, and find at 1«M, 
that this law shall lufiata punishment prece- 
dent to the pronuilguliun, and try us by max- 
ims unheaKi oriiirthr very mitnient nf the 
prosecution. VV iiere is tiic mark hcX upon 
this crime? Where Itic token hy whicn I 
should discover it? Ic has lain roncealed| 
and no human pn' :'^:m innocence, 

could wive nic ' rue lion wiUl 

which I am at prc-^in im. ,^i. unl.** 

** it is now liiU two butidn:d aod foit^ 


Jbr High Treason* 

A. D. 1794. 


Thoraannolcroft^ — Mr» Erskine, Mr. Gibbs. 
John Ricbtcr»— Mr. Er^kine, Mr. Gilibs. 
Johti Ihclwall, — Mr. Ersskine, Mr. Gibbs. 
jobn Baxter, — Mr. Erskine, Mr, Gurney. 

I *incc treasons were deBncd, Let iis be 

-viih what our fathers left us ; let not 

ion carry us to be more learned than 

l..,.r ^-vi*', in these killing and destructive 

i 1 To ail my afflictions add not this, my 

Ihc most severe of any, that I, lor my 

r Mns, not for my treasons, be the n^eans 

_Jrod\>cin^ a precedent so pernicious to 

! laws and liberties of my native country V* 


Chief Justice EjTe*s daarge consists of three 

~~"\ The first tivc pages contain principaUy 

pjid and constitutional ex positron ot the 

* treason, as exlsibiled in the hooks. In 

we are presented with 

' 1 ni^ this new treasort 

, HI MJi»vert the monarchy;*' 

f justice, as has already appear- 

1 hic Kpeculation, with expres* 

rurnulatcd evidence, and 

J J terms, thkit this new ima- 

I £ ison IS no treason by the laws of 

kictv, as the chief justice observes, the 

KniTC might have concluded. Here, if a 

yf -iinl had been paid to the essential 

I I of criminal justice, it would have 
; if not in reality a little sooner. 

'i nder of the charge is made up of hy- 

Dili I'liption^prejudiaition^ and con< 

ctii is scarcely a single line that 

tOiri 'iiiwuufTiJ with such phrases. as" public 
otoneiy," "things likely," "purposes im- 
Dtn^'* *' measures supposed/* and ^* imagin* 

.*' Liliiin reason of all this is, that the 
[c e suspected, that the treason de- 

iIjC' statute 25 Edward 3rd, and 
I precedent, or deduciblc 
.even with the addition 
rtbc 4.lii new constructive treason, 

ded, - sscs, upon no law, prece- 

J Or cuj^e, and which therefore is in reality 
rlr»SK»nt did not aiford sufficient ground of 
ttit.i t the prisoners, lie is 

rfcire • leave trie plain road^ and 

»eJ otit urd. No Taw, no deduc^ 

, Of c< 1 of iaw» that could he for- 

lordrj."., ,.„, ._,i a mere view of the sta- 
wtKild titiswer the purposes of the spe- 
l€<»liaQitsa(on. fie is therefore obliged to 
' 'gt himself in conjecture, as to what the 
tW33 rT?3v h:ivr ftone, and what are 
" ih€ f^cf- rd before the jury." 

Tuo Hm-t wre included in this 

I J I St, the chief justice 
pi; hifni»elf unable, by direct 

^ wlmt U is we 
1 to the neccs- 
' oi TL'i'.:jjj;] ' *' - ~'"nend 

i tj aclMiti ce of 


Thomas Wardle, Mattliew Moore, and 
Richard Hodgson, were not in custody. 

On Monday, October the thirteeoth, Mr. 

ready performed to the question, whether or 
no they shall full under such or such provi* 
fiions of law. Secondly, by this perverted 
mode of proceeding, he completely prejudges 
the case of the prisoners. He does not pro- 
ceed, as a judge ought to proceed^ by explain- 
ing the law, and leaving the grand jur}' to fiTc 
its application upon individuals; but leads 
them to the selection of the individuals them- 
selves, and centres in his own person the pro* 
vinces of jt»dge and accuser. It may he 
doubted whether, in the whole records of the 
legal proceedings of England, another in- 
stance is to be Jound, of such wild conjecture, 
such premature jiresumplion, imaginrttions so 
licentious, and urcams so full of sanguinary 
and tremendous prophecy. 

The conjectures of the chief justice respect- 
ing the probable guilt of the accused fall un- 
der two heads. First, " associations, the pro- 
fessed purpose of which has been a change in 
the constitution of the Commons House of 
Parliament, and the obtaining of Annual par- 
liaments/' Secondly, " the project of a con- 
vention to be assembled under the advice and 
direction of some of these associations." 

The treasons which the chief justice ima- 
gines himself capable of fixing upon some of 
these associations for a parliamentary reform, 
are of two kinds. 

Before we enter upon these, let us pause a 
moment, and consider the unexplored countnr 
before us. Every paragraph now presents us 
with a new treason, real or miaginarjv pre- 
tendedly direct, or avowedly constructive. 
Division and subdivision rise upon us, and al- 
most every one is concluded with the awful 
denunciation of treason. I'he chief jtistifc 
is no longer contented with the plain treasons 
of 36 Edward 3rd, or the remoter treasons of 
Foster and H*ilc. His whole discourse hangs 
by one slender thread. He perpetually refers 
to the new and portentous treason of his own 
mere creation, ** a conspiracy to subvert the 
** monarchy ;*' a treason, which he ingenu- 
ously avow's " no lawgiver in this country has 
ever ventured to contemplate,'* and *Hhe 
statute of Edward 3rd, by which we are bound* 
has not declared;* Upon this self-constitutexl 
treason he hangs his other conjectures and 
novelties as weil us he is able, b) the help of 
forced constnictions, of ambiguoun and Uu- 
ceitful words, and all the drlu^iont of a prac. 
Used sophistcr. Was it necessary for the de- 
struction of twelve private and untitled incn^ 
to create all this confusion, to prmhire nil ihi» 
Riin, to overturn everv thing tbul u vahialilc 
in English librrtv; "^ "' '^*' ui for tune rom^ 
inrt under thn imr ami IncxpUcmtlr 

dehpoti-iin that the cr taw f 

Let us attend to the opiatcrn of judge ! 
stoue ui>oti ihii aulu«^ct, 


White, solicitor for the treasury, delivered lo 
each of the prisoners a copy of the tDdictmca^ 
a hst of the jurors impEtnclled hy the ^he^ff, 
and a tbt ot the witnesses to h^ produced by 
the crown for proving the said inoictment. 

** By the ancient common law, there was a 
great latilude left in the brea&t of the judges, j 
to determine what wiis treason or nut so; ' 
vr hereby the creatures of tyrannical princes 
had opportunity to create abuodiince of con- 
structive treasons : that ia, to raise, by forced 
and arbitrary constructions ofi'ences into the 
crime and puni!>»hment of treason, which never 
were siL«ipected to be such. To prevent lhet»e 
inconveniences, tlie Matute 25 Edward 3rd, 
chap. 9, wa% made. [B<^k iv, chap. 6, p. 75] 
—This is a great security to the public, and 
leaves a weighty m4menio to judges to be care- 
ful, aud not overha^ty in, letting in treasons 
by construction or interpretation^ especially 
in new ra^os that have not been resolved and 
settled. ^ — The legislature was extremely libe- 
ral in decbriuie; new treasons in the unfortu- 
nate reii^n of kuig Richard the second ; but|, 
in the first year of his successor's reign, an 
act " was passed^ which at once swept awuy 
this whole load of extravagant treasons. An 
terwards, particularly in the bloody reign of 
Henry 8th, the spirit of inventing new and 
strange treasons was revived ; alt which new- 
fangled crimes were totally abrogated by the 
statute 1 Alary, chap* 1 ; since which lime the 
legislatnre lias become more cautious upon 
this subject.** [P. 85, 86.] 

The hrst mode in which, according lo chief 
Jul r . an association for parliamentary 
rt" incur the penalties of hi^h trca- 

»Gij, 13 *>iua ** other purposes, besides tho.<ke 
of parliamentary reform, and of the most trai- 
torous nature, are hidden under this veil" 
The purposes he may be supposed to mean, 
are tliose of his new-fangled treason, of" con* 
spiring to subvert the monarchy." ThuSi 
in the first piace^ we have an innocent purpojws 
constituting the professed object of this sup- 
posed as.sociation ; and behind that the grand 
jury arc to discover, if they can, a secret pur- 
pose, totally unlike that which the associators 
profess; and this pun^ose chief justice Eyre 
clerlares to be treason, contrary, as he avow- 
edly ronlesscs, to all law, precedent, a^d ad- 
judif-Ucd cases. 

The second mode, in which the chief justice 
15 wilUng to pre- suppose hii;h treason in an 
%S^oriatton tor parliamentary irr.Min i^ by 

ii an association, not in itt <• as 

I says, '* simply unlawful, too t m . ^i De- 
rating, and becoming unlawful in the highest 

It isdifficuU to con 
with the gravity, that 
giM rate, delivering bis 
of iu»lictf. ** An assot i 
refcrmmav rf 
in the hi^hr 
cstcnt of itic '. 

n this article 
line to a ma- 

On Friday, October the 34lb, Thomas 
Hardy, Joiio Home Tooke, John Augustus 
Bo nney, Stewart Kyd, Jeremiah Joyce, John 
Richtcr and John Thelwall, were removed 
by habeas corpus from the Tower to New- 

knows not that? Was it necessary tba 

chief justice Eyre should come in "^^ 
Iconity to announce to us so irr> 4 

proposition? An association for j..... ..*,>.ii- 

tary reform may desert its object, and be 
guilty of high Ireasoa True : so may a card 
club, a bench of ^us^tices, or even a cabinet 
council. Does chief justice Eyre mean to in^ 
sinuate, that there is something in the 
pose of a parliamentary reform, so uohal 
ed, ambiguous, and unjust, as to render 
well-wishers objects of suspicion, rather tf 
their brethren and fellow subjects ? Wh 
can be more wanton, cruel, and inhumai 
than thus gratuitously to single out the pur* 
pose of parliamentary reform, as if it were, g|[ 
all others, most especially connected with de- 
generacy and treason ? 

But what is principally worthy of observe* 
tion in both these cases, is, the easy and artf " 
manner in which the idea of treason is 
troduced mto them. First, there is a **co 
cealed purpose,*' or an insensible ** degeni 
racy,*' supposed to take place in these 
ciations. >Jext, tliat ^^ concealed purpose 
or insensible ** dcjgeneracy," h suppoHcd 
tend directly to this enii, the ** subversion 
the tnonarcliy:" Lastly, a ** conspiracy . 
subvert the monarchy/' is a treason, firi 
discovered by chief justice Eyre in 1794, nev 
contemplated by any lawgiver, or included i 

any statute. Deny the chief juslii -le^ 

of his three assumptions, and his 
duction falls to the ground. ChaiU.>^.. »at.), 
or any man hving, to prove any of them ; ant) 
you require of him an impossibility. And It 
IS by this sort of logic, which would be scout- 
ed in the rawest graduate m either of our uni- 
versities, tliat Knglishuien arc to be brt^uglil 
under the penalties of treason ! 

Of the^e assumptions, the most flngra 
perhaps, if in reahty there can be any grad 
tion in such groundless assertions, is tb: 
which imputes to the associations a *' coj 
spiracy to subvert the *' n»onarchy." T] 
chief justice knows, for no man is 'tj^noia 
that there is not the shiidow of evidence 
such a conspiracy* If anv man in Englai 
wishes th'' ^")iv-rtigii of the monarchy- 
there am ind that dues not feci, lii 
suchiub\' rectedatallyCanohlvbi't' 
fected by an msensible revolution < 
Did these associdtJon^ phm the tnur 
king, and the <>n of the iu>«tl f« 
Iv? Wher^ :i oh of it? But 

,a piii^rc tiii'in probubi 

■li.-nir-- nf 1 u-,iLin H^d 

UH'L \H 41 


51* utitsgri, VV tiu I ^jcuU every ijiau to luc ^^uiowa wiuioui tJt;^ 

Jbr High Trtasm* 
Stmnu UmU4 in the Old Baitty, Saturday Oc- 

l*re»iil,— Lo«l chief jtislice E/re; lord 
chief Iwron Macdonsild ; Mr. baron Hotham ; 

' appcHations shall 

[ e, or bis niajesly's scr- 
:c of high treason to ad- 
)('c il. The purpose of 
I , as the rhicf justice con- 
.., being treasonable, is not 
nl," If the persons now in 
■ - , 1 1, e been 2;uHly of high treason, 
flat IS the pomt to which uur allenlion is to 
be f::i1!e<J Thrlr treason is neither greater 
n '^*S ^Tigaged in a mwful 

M ^ ftr a pariiamentary re- 

fi 1 ua uhu^i'lhcy have done that is 

i: uJ do not seek to excite eictrajudi- 

aaJ ^♦rguaiccs against them for what is iono- 

Having fl Mhe immediate purpose of 

t jnrbamf n m, the chief justice goes 

Mk io the is-.M j^»jj.tL to consider "the project 
•fa convention, to be assembled under the ad- 
fke and direction of some of these as&ocia- 

A. D. 1794. 


And htTv h was impossible not to recollect, 
t' - and meetings of delegates 

i us foreign to the English his- 

loiy ; iaiiS llmi twelve or fourteen years ago, 
Btov of his majesty's present ministers were 
d«plT enpged in a project of this nature. 
Accoriifii^ry, the chief justice lakes a very me- 
IBMlt't ' Hon. He calls it ** a project, 

^Mffl^i imcjj would have been hardly 

thlM^bi v»^ ' r irration, butp in 

ib»e,oaTi! een attempted 

til ifi t \ L •- M I ( u 1 1 III ,1 L 1 1 - i itnl part or th e 
Idn^dom, and with the example of a 
tinng country before our eyes, is de- 
become an object of jealousy to the 


f^frc arc j 
Ixhrmn! 3rd, 
tie «nfi1c\ 
**^baU tarr 


- one of the most 

1 nciples of executive 

1(1 of or imagined. 

Tit measures of jus- 

^ by the act i?5 

iJing fitting to 

says the act, 

judgment of 

I and de- 


ir Fn'j-<,t ifriuon or 

liameutj thf lp;^islative 

iii .V n» ike new provi- 

II 10 cjreum- 

\\(' L-Miriiunders 



. or 




Mr. justice Duller; Mr. justice Grose ; and 
others of his majesty's justices, &€♦ 

Thomas Hardy, John Home Tooke, Job 
Augustus Bonney, Stewart Kyd, Jeremia 

they are to find to day. An interpretation, 
shifting with every gale of accident, may pro- 
duce undefinable terrors in its niisemble vic- 
tims, may devote its authors to eternal exe- 
cration, but can have none of the venerabh 
features either of law or justice. 

Some of the dreadful consequences in- 
volved in this loose and ttucttmling interpre- 
tation, ^how themselves in the very ncstl sen*' 

" It will be your duty,'* says the chief jus* 
tire to the jury, " to examine the evidence 
oh this head very carefully, and to sift 
it to the bottom t to consider every part of 
it in itself, and as it stands connected with 
other parts of it ; and to draw the conclusion 
of fact, as to the existence, the nature and ob- 
ject of this proposed convention, from the 

" In the course of the evidence you will 
probably hear of bodies of men having been 
collected together,of violent resolutions voted 
at this and other njeetings, of some prepara* 
lion of offensive weapons, and of the adoptiofi 
of the language and manners of those con- 
ventions fn France, which have possessed 
themselves of the government of that country. 
I dwell not on these particulars, because I 
consider them not as substantive treasons^ 
but as circumstances of evidence, tending to 
ascertain the true nature of the object which 
these persons had in \'iew.'* 

Here we have *.et before us, in the most 
unblushing and undisguised manner, that 
principle of coiislructive treason, which has 
upon all occasions formed an object of exe- 
cration in English history. Let us hear what 
Flume says upon the stibject in the farther 
progress uf that very passage which has been 
already quoted, 

•* As tins species of treason, discovered by 
the Commons, * in the case of lord Strafford e,' 
is entirely new and unknown to the laws ; so 
is the species of proof by which they pretend 
to 6s that guilt upon the prisoner. They 
have invent^ a kind of accumulative or con- 
structive evidence, by which many actions, 
either totally innocent in themselves, or cri- 
mmal in a much inferior degree, shall, when 
united amount to treason, and subject the 
person to the highest pcnaUJes intlictcd by 
the law. A haily and iMifMinnlpd word, u 
rash and passionate ai i Sod by the 

malevolent fancy of the ^nd tortuicd 

by doubtful constructions, is transmuted into 
tfiE deepest guilt, and the Uves and fortunes 
of the whole nation, no longer protected by 
jiistifc, are subjected to arbiti-ary will and 
plcttsure" [p. 40:t.]. 

II is not easy to conceive of two passnge^ 
more parallel to each gtlwr, than the dw 



Trial ofTlifmas Hardg 


Joyce» Thomas Holcroft, John Richter, John 
Thelwall, and Juhn Baitler, were arraigned 

tupon the followitig indictment, and severally 

Lf leaded Not Guilty. 

* here delivered by chief justice Eyre, and the 
condemtiation pronounced u^n them by 
v^ay q\' anticipation by the illustrious liume. 

f'Thus, ** a hasty and unguarded word," — 
' Adoption of the language of the convention 
in Fmuce,'' — ** A rash and passionate action/' 

I — « Violent resolutions voted at tliis and other 
meetings — some preparation of offensive 
\i'eapon.s," — '* Actions either totally innocent 
in themselves, or iriroinal in a much mferior 
degree"—** I consider not these particulars 

I as substantive treasons*^* 

Can any thing be more atrocion?, than the 

: undertaking to measure the guilt of an indi- 

I vldnal, and the interpretation of a pUin and 
permanent law, by the tran&ilory example 
that may happen to exist ** before "our eyes in 

^ a neighbouring country ?" 

The chief justice bpf^aks of two sorts of 

J convention. The first, " a convention, in 

I inntatiun of those which we have heard of in 

jyrunct', in order to usurp the government of 

[tlic country.'^ 

There lurks a memorable ambiguity under 

^us word convention. A cunvcntiou was 

I no long lime ago, of delegates from the 

II burghs in Scotland, to consider of a 
reromialion in the administnition of those 

[Ijurghs. Of this convention, the present lord 
Jsdvocate of Scotland, among others, was a 
llitember. A convention was proposed in 
il7U0, of dele^tes from ttie diflVreut county 
I ineetings held at that period. Both these 
l^conventions were consitlerably more furmi- 
idable in their slruclurc tlian that which is the 
taubjcct of present animadversion. The royal 
jburghs, and the meetings of freeholders in 
tlbe sever*il counties^ consist of bodies more 
[©r less recognized by tlie constitution, and 
x>S9essing a degree of inherent authority. 
The convention proposed in the present in- 
[stance, was simply of delegates from the dif- 
ferent societies, vohmlariiy associated tor the 
jrpose of parliumenlary reform. They could 
05se&« no inherent a'nihority* The per- 
ons who constituted them, must have been 
^ctuated by the mo^t perfect insanity, before 
they could have dreametl of uBurpiiM^ tlie 
ovcrnmcnt of the couritr}'. No delu.Hon, 
herefore, can be more gross, than an attempt 
rfe ityle* us chief justice Eyre styles, such a 
convention ** a convention of the people/* 

In describing his first sort of convention, 
^cdiief Justice roundly affirms, *' that the 
project of svirh a convention, and any one 
step taken towards bringing it about, such 
as, for instance, consvdtalions, fonniug com- 
-nittces to consider of the mean^» or acting in 
^ bosc commilteei^j would U- « case of no dif- 
Istulty ^ it would be ll ison; 

it would be compa^ the 

king*f death; vxi tiot umy ms attain, but the 


MlddlueXj {BE it remembered that at a 
to wit. J special se^Mon of Oyer and 

death and destruction of all order, religion^ 
and laws, of all property^ and security for tlic 
lives and liberties of the king's subjects.'' 

There i^ a figure m speech, yf the highest use 
to a designing and treacherous orator, whict^ 
has not ;jet perhaps received a name in the la- 
bours ot Aristutle, Quint illian, or Tarnaby. 
I would call this figure encroachment. It is 
a proceeding, by which an affirmation is rai»- 
deslly insinuated at first, accompanied with 
considerable doubt and qualification ; repeated 
atlcrwards, unaccompanied with the^e quail* 
fications ; and at last asserted in the most 
peremptory and arrogant lenns It is thus 
that chief justice Kyre expresses himself re- 
specting a ** conspiracy to overturn the mo- 
narchy." It is first a trea-son, " not declared 
by the statute 25 Edward 3rd ;" a ireasoi^ 
** Nvhich nu lawgiver in this country- has ever 
ventured to contemplate;'* a treason, *' not 
I restmg for its authority upon any law, pro- 
I cedent^ or adjudged case." It is not this 
thing, nor it is not that ; " the *etJUw rcf ni 
spoken of by some of our ancient writers, bul 
I which is no part of our law, seems to come the 
I nciirest to it,'* but will not apply, ** the par- 
ticular nature of the traitorous attempt, will 
fall within one or other of the specinc irea* 
I sons of the statute of Edward iJrd." A strange 
\ crime, wijit h the judge knows is provided 
■ against by tlje first or the second principal 
I clause, but is unable to determine w nether it 
I is by the former or the latter! Afterwards 
I the chief justice speaks of it with less hesi- 
I tat ion ; and at las t^ as we have seen, aiErms 
it to be *^ a case of no difficully,and the clearest 
I hid^ trcasitu.'^ 

Can any play upon words be more oon- 
templiblc, than that by which the chief jus- 
tice, finding the king's death the subject of 
one of the clauses, and determined to trace 
at least some remote analog>' between that 
and the subversion of the monarchy, describes 
the latter by the appellation of *' tlte death 
and destruction of all ordcr,religion,^'c.^c, T* 
The second sort of convention in chief ius- 


ticc Eyre's arniugement/isaconvent 
not intending to usurp the coven i- 
country, ** has for its sole object t 
a change in the mode of repri 
llsc people in parliament, and tl^. i ...jt^ 
that p^liamcnts should lie held aimually* 
And here/* says the chief justice, ** there is 
room to distinguish. Such a project of CQIlf 
vention, taking it to be crimiiiHl,"— 

"Taking it to be criminal!" Was crer 
postulate, more cjttraordinarj', or more iotoU 
erable? Did ever judge, - the 

bench, previously to ttus iu^t :io 

whole question ; ii!' ' h* 

out the ¥ihadow ct ur 

uuncupatory; Stfttulc or rL'^>orij Inc wuuit; vlU 

fihe conn 
county on 1 

ID ll 


^/Ir Wi^A Treusan* 

T of and 

4t the 

in the 

,ii day of 

liUh jfcar ot the reign 

'• eorge the Third by the 

A. D< lT9i. 


ninsJity ; and then proceed at his leisure to 
liilfiiwte the issumed cnmitiality into all its 
tffefcot degrees? Meanwliite, alter this toud 
I p^ff,»,.,vir,»'X' «r,-.,r»i.|e, the chiefjustice is 
nc $ort of convention^ 
^** -I iiiality/' ** a convention, 

insg i object a dutiful amJ peace- 

ibla api to parliament by petition^ 

caoOQt oi ttjich be runkcd among Uiis class of 
afatircs/'' tie darc!» not jiti^rm tliat it is to 
Ited among any class of offences what- 
^_^f,— Bui to proceed to the distinctions he 
^dltlttlcfis to enumerate. 

thm int sort of '* Convention ^ which has 

liritf oljtcc U^> 
mkn^f and that 


rj^ a parliiimentary 
V, is a convenlioD, 
lit the authority of 
ijrpose" usurping, 
llinctionsof legis- 
isticc determines, 
^ us in the preeed- 
be high treason in 


*' woutd 

/one of the actors/^ 

hhtr Ihia bboriousdiscuswon, chief justice 

Eyie U DQt yet salistied that he has framed & 

CVMlrocUofi^ strong enough to ensnare the 

XKmr under confinement. He has 

inction upon di^tinclioo. He has 

^ ^ at least live or si 35 ditTerent 

^f licason, not found in the direct 

ia o/^.Edward 3n\ or in the remoter 

i '^ "^V'^r - nd Hale; not supported, 

c ses, by any law, prece- 

,ojr i„^j««g,^^ ^^:>c. But all this he does 
ui tliii iBcr# nntanoeto of lii^ power. If any 
af Ibe pmmmm now under caiiTmcmevit had 
1 accMlnllitg to all the itnumcrations of hh 
cases, it muy satt tv t»e atlirraed, 
I n a charge of 

. .>r beacquiltol* 

t ibe cht*- > lU> confesses, that 

mg to any one of 
i€M** in: Loti of fiction^ hypo- 

lhMb> on* i!« brought tbrward 

Jor llie »*.'ic i»uri "' r uf convmcing us 

•I'lhvilliparallel* > of the lord chief 

joitiR - • *^'' ^^ ^ court of Common 

Fl«i»i r the imaginations, to 

' nation. 

I, aj)d if 

iiuuld be 

m] be tlic 

^4i> aiid severe, it 

Hon I 

. having hitherto 

i» nut to the pur- 

I ' mrUter in 


ir^^M liJ^ ari% uuu uts^iuy^ iiih uUaoat in* 


JjL^t I 


pace of Cod of Great Britain France and Ire- 
Jand king defender of the faith and S0 forth 
before the right honourable sir James Eyre 
knight chief justice of our said brd the king 
of ins court of Commun Pleas the right ho* 
Qourable sir Archibald Macdonald knight 

Irepidity of countenance* This part of the 
case ib opened as follows : 

"Whether the projectof a conTention^ having 
for its object the collecting together a power 
which should ot'eravve the legislative body, 
but not suspensl il, or enhrelv determine its 
functions, if acted upon, will also amount Xq 
high treason, and to the specific treason of J 
compassing and imagining the ktng*s death^ [ 
is a more doubtful "question. Thus far is 
clear : a force upon the parliament^ must be 
immediately directed agwnst the king. It 
must reach the king, or it can have no eifecC | 
at all. The laws are enacted in parliament ' 
by the king's majesty, by and with the advice 
and consent of the Lords and Commons ia [ 
parliament assembled. A force meditated < 
against the parUainent, therefore, is a force 
nieditatcd against the king, and seems to fall I 
within the cases de&cribed.*' 

Nothing can be more jgross to the view of I 
any one who will attentively read this pam* [ 
^pb» than its total want of all definite andi 
inlelhgible meaning. The chief justice talkf ] 
of " collecting together a power,*' and of •* * 
force^' exercised upon t!ie parliament. What] 
IS here intended hy the words power and 1 
force? Under ihe kindly ambiguity of these, 
words, the chief justice seems very willing to i 
slip upon us the idea of an armed power and { 
a military force. But this can scarcely by any ' 
construction be reconciled to the idea of ftj 
convention. An army of delegates wasa^l 
idea reserved for chief justice Eyre to intro»1 
duce into the world. Well then: let us sup* j 
pose that arms and violence are not intended; 
yet the chief justice says, that tlie project of a 
convention has for its ol ject ^' the collecting I 
together a power, which should overawe tlia 1 
legislative body/' This word is still more] 
ambiguous thin any of the rest. What are] 
we to understand hy the phrase " to over- 1 
awe?" Awe in its true acceptation has always J 
been understood to mean defereuce or ro-l 
spect. It cannot mean any thing else hcre^I 
since, as we have already seen, armed powef ] 
and military force arc out of the question, j 
i3ut in this sense what is the object of every j 
species of convention or pohtical associatioc 
whatever ? It is always ij) tended to produce 1 
deference and respect. Thua the chieljtistice j 
very properly observes, that " a convention,! 
having for its sole object a dutiful and peace-.! 
able applicalion to parliament/' dees not fait] 
to find tlmt application attended with " ro^] 
spect and cre<lil» iu propof tion to its uuiverw 
fiality/' Indeed there ran be no doubt, thall 
there arc but two ways of oper:' a* 

men's ci^ndurrt, the one, bv cihihr 
tneuts caLsuieiled to prtivail upeu iu^u vv«ck' 

2S7J S5 GEORGE IIL Trial of Thomas Hardy [228 

chit f liainii of our Mtid lord the king of his I able sir Nash Grose knight one of the justices 
rum i of I'.xrhcqutT llio hunonruMc sir Deau- I of our said lord the king asMgned to hold 
inont llotliain knij^bt oiicof'tlic barunKofour I pleas before the king himself the honourable 
f«aicl lord tlir kiiii' Of his ^aid court of Kxchc- | sir Souldcn Lawrence knight one other of 
qiitT the lioiiourublr sir IVaiicis Hiillcr bartiiiet : the justices of our said lord the king assigned 
oiUMifilirjnMirrs iifoiir said lord Ihc king of . to hold Picas before the king himselT and 
his said ronrt of ( oiunion Picas llic honour- | others their fellows justices and commissioners 

incIiu;ilinM>i and coiivinion, tlir other a per- fvcn he hesitates to decide. He dares not 
rciviu;; liow murh the ihiuj: nM|uircd accords | aver the proceeding described in it to be tiea- 
willi ilir sMisc of nuiiMTous lutdics of men, | son. Well, then; what is the remedy he pro- 
iinti luulirs oi men entitled to eminent i redit. i po*;cs? Surely anew act of parliament; the 
Suih hem,:; llie Mihstaiue ot the luosl ina- . rrniwly prescribed by the act of Edward Sid, 
lerial para<:rii)ili in the chafire to the grand i '' in cases of treason, which may happen ia 
jury Jet Us >eeiu maniur tluspar;(>;r;iph ! time to come, but which could not then h% 
is ViUif liuli d, and what are the inferences ' thought of or declare<l." No such thing, 
drawn iVom it. NN hal is the Ireaimenl due | V\^i\ this case, which he does not venture to 
to tliis lurce which is no force; thiscollecling I pronounce to be treason, he directs the grand 
toi;i'llur a power, unarmed, and entitled to jnry to find the bills to be true bills! He 
credit onlv for its univvTsaliiy ? \N hat shall tells them, " that it is tittinp: that this case," 
he done to' the uien \\\\o thus overawe the j w-hich he *' states as new and doubtful, should 
K'jjislative hi dv.hy eNciiiiij;: its defeniice and : be put into a jinlicial course of inquiry, that 
respect: or. faihnji this, do lu't overawe it at j it mav receive a solemn adjudication, whether 
«ll, m isuMich as I hey have no power to in- j it will or will not amount to high treason !'' 
force I hm demindsr* "Wlulluror no," as ; The chief justice, in this instance, quits 
chief justice Kyre sai:;uiously ohM-rves " the ! the character of a criminal judge and a civil 

IMoiri I i»f >ui h a coiuention wiil amount to m.inistrate, and assumes that of a natural 
tich lie.i>on. is a more iloulittul question." ' philosopher or experimental anatomist. He 
He adiU. •• m this ease it iloes not np|« to is wilhng to dissect the persons that shall be 
inr. tliHt I am wairanted hv lix .»uthuuiies. to hr on i^ht "before him, the better to ascertain 
Male to you as law, that the mere con- the truth or t'd^chood of his preconceiTcd 
spir.icv to raise such a torce" Lrecvltect \\\\a\ conjectures. The plain English of his rccom- been Siiid u,mu llie nature of this torcel, . inciidation is this: •• Let these men be pot 
•• and tne enleriui; u»tocoi^suii.iti*.ns ro*ptvi- upon trial for their live*: let them and their 
inj; It. will alone, and wiil'o'.ii .ulualK r.ii>in:; friends throujih the remotest strainers of 
the f-rce, ei'nsislutc tiio cr'.m-. C'f h ih irtaM Ti. ceiMUxion. be exposed to all the anxieties 
> tl»e l.iw i* ui tli,*t c.iso. ,ui'i \\\\.\\ \\\\\ incident to somicortiin and fearful a condi- 
be the etKMoftl.e o;rc!m»si..!u-e i ♦ the Iv-rre tii :i : !et them be exposed to ignominy, to 
bein; i!uis nuVi;:atcd. wiilhc l^t lo Iv s^- oM.r-.:y. to :ho part ialilics, as it may happen, 
lemnix considoied a-.u; dtlermiiud wnen the oi a prcjuaicoi judge, and ihe perkcrscness of 
case stu!'. .iriM." an liiivr-int jury : wc shall then know how 

Here t'-.v* c:iu r" -iisti.-;' sivmK* with .i ^r'^vcr we or.: it to conceive of similar cases. By 
devT'ce or" o.*cs:\ an.l p:e\ mliv^'.n so i.-.r .i-i tr.uvp .1.^ ujhmi their peace, throwing away 
rc.itc^to :*:•.•.• >!r.';\.^i\i spirit if the per'^ous tin:: ..^I's or sj^irting with their innocence^ 
u:u?. ' I V : :; v. '.cit : w :'.en l:e h.isoiV >'vn we *:;.::: eht.iin a b isis up\>n which to proceed, 
to :.-•:'•;• :;-.;'% ■.=*»•/.:. :u\ ::i uv.ul m.i:ir..7 a:iii a v rev c dent to guide cur j'jdgment in 
i!vr. .1^ ,4 \ .r..i:..'M :-.:o tic >t.iltnu:;t. i;;>t i:k-c>." 

" \\ ■'. ^. is r:\Lps {- '\\*:v.2.' s.t\x i.e." 11 l.::s is a scrl of Unr^i^? which it is im- 
\ 0; J :• .■ •. >N- v . r-» :- ^ . . . \ . . v i> ; a\ >u ; :; a J e- p ' - - ■ i -c I .> .-cv ol :ev' t v st ta u! horror, and 
>-H..*:\: ." :. ,• c .rj.fs ». : i i.- 're.,-..:-! are «:..:*» >ec:n> Wv^rthy or" t;:c '-jviicul minister? 
c:.. :; .1. \' n-..» :.:.L :■■ ■ ..ji^^: i;.i:u v.\ :\\ <: I. U" :;*.;> i-r Nero I: ar-i:f<, 1: the speaker 
I :.i'. ^ V .■ ". ". ■•. -. ..*■...; k' \.-^ c\:r.i..:.;;- u-.i-iiT-t^^.v! c.*:i n'ifdnir.c. • r if ihe p^per 
rv\ :•. •. • , : c 1*..: ^ .: -1- txiirv ..r. : .*• t<: -e :r.t'' : .i- :.i:tr.rv.".y r»: pried :♦, the mon 
ll-.e I c ^:, ^ \i:\ »: .-. . . .■ :'*v x..: .:>.:;■•. !- ^:.! .... r ■::•::. vC \: r.uiv.xT. rj:p:::es5 and 
;iK,i-^: ■*.^- ■■ ^.i*"-. ^* <^'i -*..;■ :. )^.. : ...-.'^z ..'V.'::*- to t:.:* inethod of 

.in I-...* . ' '. . -f, ^ .. : K- : -..i ;-:.::- a:*. ".'.w«. : re.f.'tv.ts c.i^<*>. .i!>d reports 

\v.\ .. .'. . * :. ■■.•...".::".■ i. A--; «."".,;.■■ ' 

re,. »; t' ..•/.a,. ...\" ,:.>•:*. i: .: «... ; ..:^ _.> .- 

*•: *> . : '. '.. ^.■. :-•- .'- ■•. r".r«*r N*iy .. ■ 

i: > . .::...:■.■: \c .^ ..r . :^ \: — ,r: .■ ' : ..! -V- . . 
aV v—.- :. ; i-". ■."■: •. : iv - ^ ' ::..'■*- >.:i \ .: ^» 

r.:v- ' ■ V ... i. ::^ ; :ri: »>: .»i-^-^ ^z: ;.. ■^-. i* ,- 

>^v;s ^ : •.:..!- : , -^^. kv*. .-.i •T-icci r.* *c^iA> r.: :iz ;. ;.." u> uiVuXT .i r.f^r r. .i <: chauiULK 
c.±NV'.-.: > AS ir<, 4::i pinraaffcrn.y u i**t» Uw. :t he act brt?er «>«fn;ciT to 
but «euch lie ali t^ bmr cxriSoKS ci ha ? th&t U« ia tbe two Hcw«s of "" 
M«aMCiBittBi^coHtts%i«cr -viKh tfaMto iiArii to be awdc cvt of 


•'\ .■■■ 

! '.re ; 
: :: :. f 


n^ a lew 
z^.yrii and 
sua of a 


•.:' r-, 
:f r.: 

:l cf the 
;:::^s:er* •f 

r. if tber 


far High Treoioiu 

A. D- 1794. 


of our sud lord the king assigned by letters 
patent of our said lord tlie king under his 
^cat seal of Great Britain made to them and 
others and any three or more of them (of 
whom one of them the aforesaid sir James 
Eyre air Archibald Macdonald sir Beaumont 
llotbam sir Francis Buller sir Nash Grose 

stnictions of old statutes, contraiy to all law 
and precedent, and contrary to the security 
and liberty of the subject. 

In Ireland, some time ago, it was thought 
proper to bring forward a convention-bill, 
declarine such proceedings, as are the subjects 
of the "rorced constructions of chief baron 
£yre^ to amount to high treason. When the 
Habeu Corpus act was suspended in England^ 
we were given to understand that this pro- 
ceeding was thought sufficient for the present, 
and that a convention-bill, similar to the 
Irish, and other severe measures, were re- 
senrcndl to be adopted, as the case might 
require. This fallacious show of lenity, now 
turns out to be the most unprincipled tyranny. 
Mr. Dundas and others talked in the last 
session of parliament, of bringing home the 
Scottish pnnciples of jurisprudence, if need 
were, to England, and renaering associations 
and conventions a subject of transportation to 
Botany Bay. Tliey have since refined upon 
their plan, and carried the law of England, 
or what they are pleased to call so, into 
Scotland, rendering these offences, real or 
imaginary, a subject of the penalties of high 
treason. Such have been the incroachmcnts 
upon the constitution, by men who have the 
audacity to call themselves its champions, 
that a man who should have pretended to 
ibretel, from six months to six months, the 
measures they would think proper to pursue, 
would have been laughed at for the improba- 
bility and utter absurdity of his talc. Britons 
will at length awake, and the effects of reason 
and conviction upon them, will not be less j 
ibrmidable or Icas unacceptable to their op- 
pressors, than the effects that might flow 
from a course of violence ! 

I have hitherto abstained from saying any 
thing respecting the personal characters of 
the men now under accusation. If their 
abilities be as rare, and tlicir merits as high as 
their warmest admirers can conceive them, it , 
would »till be forei,:;n to the question I propose 
to consider. If they be men, exceptionable 
in their character, ambiguous in their designs, , 
and mischievous in their counsels, that also 
ought to be put out of the consideration. The . 
£ugii>h constitution is strong cnousrh to dis- \ 
arm all the adversaries of the public peace, ' 
without its being necessary for that purpose < 
to destroy its very essence. Twelve men are i 
apparently concerned, but the liherlies and i 
happiness of all are ai stake. If these new i 
treasons }>e established, we may say, as the ; 
pariiameut of llenrv the fourth did, speaking 
of the new-fangled treasons under llichard 
thesecosid, that <' no man can know how he 

and sir Soulden Lawrence our said lord the 
king willed should be one) to inquire by the 
oatli of good and lawful men of the county of 
Middlesex of all high treasons in compassing 
or imagining the death of our lord the king 
levying war aj'ainst our lord the king in his 
realm or in adhering to the enemies of our 

ought to behave himself, to do, speak, or say, 
for doubt of the pains of treason" [Black- 
stone, book i v, chap. 6, p. 86]. The construc- 
tions of chief justice Eyre, and the special 
conimission, put a perpetual bar to all asso- 
ciations, delegations, ard consultings respect- 
ing any species of grievance. Will any man 
venture to say, tliat we shall never stand in 
need of these expedients ; or shall we consent 
for all time coming, to hold every possible 
reform and amendment at the mere will of 
tlie administration? If these principles be 
established, utterly subversive as they are of 
the principles of the English government, 
who will say that we shall sUip here ? Chief 
justice Eyre says to day, *• all men may, nay, 
all men must, if they possess the faculty of 
thinking, reason upon every thin<r, that 
sufliciently interests them to became an 
object of their attention; and among the 
objects of attention of freemen, the principles 
of government, the constitution of particular 
governments, and, above all, the constitution 
of the government under which they live, 
will naturally engage attention and provoke 
speculation/* But who will say how long 
this liberty will be tolerated, if tlic principles, 
so alarmingly opened in the charge to the 
grand jury, shall once l;e e^^tahlislieil ? This 
IS the most iinportmt crisi'* in the history of 
English liberty, the world ever saw. If 
men can be convicted of hi,;li treason, upon 
such cuustmctions and inq>li<-.itions as are 
contained in this charge, we may loj;k with 
conscious superiority upon llie republican 
speculations of trance, but we shall certainly 
have re<ison to envy the milder tyrannies of 
Turkey and Ispahan. 

Trom what has been said it appears, that 
the whole proceedini^s intended in ttie present 
case, are of the nature of an vx post facto law. 
This is completely adinillul bv the chief 
justice. In sinnmin^ up the (i.lfinijt parts 
of his char^jo, he enunicratj> tiuce c.ises, in 
the first of which he directs the i:r.iiil ,iny to 
ttirow outthe bills, and m that ot tiu* Uvo last 
to find theni true bills. Oik; k^( tlu-^e two 
relates to chief justice 1-Are's \\k w tn .isun of 
" a Conspiracy to subvert the in.Jiianhy," 
a trcavm wliicli, he says, is not drclaiod by 
th(* statute of Kdward o<l. and n«) 1 .nv^imt in 
this country Da^ever vcnUircd to ( uijl'':ni.l.itc. 
Tiie other, ** that of ovrrrvnu p niiiinoot," 
he states to be a new vuj'I dwulili'iil ( .i^e, and 
reconnnends, that it -imuhl be *' put into a 
judicial course of enquiry, it may receive 
a solemn adjudicalioii win t her it will or will 
not amount to high treason." 

Thus it is ful^' admitted^ respecting the 


ud lord the king in his realm giving lo iljem 
§wd and comfort in his realm orelaewhcrc and 
lof all misprisions otsij lb h i^h treasons as afore- 
laaid or of anv of thtm withm the county afore- 
[said (he well withm liberties as without) by 

irhorotjoc^vcr and in what manner soe»er done 
L committed or perpelrated when how and after 
I lirhat manner and of all other articles and cir- 
tcumst3i)ces concerning the premisses and 
livery or any of them in any manner what- 
I aocver jmd the said treason and misprisions of 

treasons uccordin^ to the laws and customs 
1 of Ensbnd for this time to hear and dctcr- 
|ininc by I he oath of Benjamin Winthrop es- 

? aire John llcnry Schneider esquire Enward 
ronside f squire Benjamin Kenton esquire 
iKawson Hart Boddam esnuire John Aris cs- 
[fliure VVilham Pardoe A lie It esquire John 
I Jerry e^^^uire Henry Peter Khuff esqnire 
[Thoma* Winslow esquire Thomas Cole es^ 
l^uire Samuel Hawkins esquire George Ward 
j Cfiquire Thomas Boddam esquire Joseph Lan- 
Icftster Cf^quire Kotiert Wilkinson esquire 
[Ceorgc Oiiiway Mills esquire Ucnry Wright 
I esquire John Hatchet esq m re Rowland Sle- 

l persons now under accusation, that they 

' could find no reason, eitlier m the books of 
©ur law, or of any commentators of received 
authority, to suppose that they were incurring 

I the guiit of treason. '* The mark set upon 
this crime, the token by which it could be 

(discovered, lay entirely concealed: and no 
liuman prudence^ no human innocence, coutd 

\ save Ihem Trcm the destruction with which 

' iliey are at present threatened" [liuinc, vol. 

I vi^ ch. liv, p. 404]. 

It is pretty geueraUy admitted, that several 
of these persons, at least, were honest and ' 
•rcH-intentioned, though mistaken men. 
Punishment Ig awarded in human courts of 
justice, either according to the intention, or 
the mi*.chief committed] If the intention be 
alone to be considered, then the men of , 
%rhom I sytak, however unguarded and preju- I 
dicial tlicir conduct may be suppo<»ed to have I 
been, must on that i^round be infallibly ac- I 
quilted. If, on the other hand, the mischief 
incurred be the sole measure of the punish- 
ment, mt are bo»md by every thing that is ' 
0iicr«d to proceed with rehic lance and regret. 
l^et it be supposed, Uiat there are cases, 
^herc it sliall be necessary, tlvat a well 
desianinc man should be cut off, for the sake 
of the whole. TIic lea^t consideration that 
irccan pay in ': ' r ' - - is, to 

warn him'of I mi lo 

H3ut so much as the knowledge of 

Trial of ITtomai Hardi^ 


the trials to which this charge 

T kinnv ttiat tin: \\ii\'i*- vviH 


b I 


hup utiv ii-i *i is * 

•»bv e. He has al: 

0tt mi:ic js tta Ufi or pn;cedaut fuc Uiur 

phcnson esquire and John Campbell e^uirc 
gocxl and lawful men of the coimtf aforeMiid 
now here sworn and charged la \nqinr«» for 
our said lord the king lor the body of the said 
county, touchins; and concernmg the pre- 
misses in the Kaidleltors patent mentiiiucu It 
is presented in manner and fotm as fulloweth 
(Ibni is to say) 

Middic^e^ to wit the jurors for our sove- 
reign lord the kin? upon their oath present 
that Ihomas Hardy late of Westminster in 
the coutity of Middlesex shoemaker John 
IIorneTuokc late ofWimbWon in the county 
of Surrey clerk John Augustus Bonnev late of 
the parish of Saint Giles in the Fields in the 
county of Middlesex aforesaid ^ntleman 
Stewart Kyd late of London esquire Jeremiah 
Joyce late of the parish of Saint Marj-le-bone 
otherwise Marybone in the county of Middle* 
sex aforesaid genrlcman Thomas Wardlc late 
of London gentleman Thomas Holcroft late of 
the parish of Saint Mary-le-bone otherwise 
MaryL>one aforesaid in the county of Middle- 
sex aforesaid gentleman John Richter late of 
Westminster ui the said county of Middlesex 

condemnation. If therefore he address them 
in the fmnk language of s'mcerity, he must 
say : "Six months ago you engaged in mea- 
sures, which you believed conducive to the 
public good. " You examined them in the 
sincerity of your hearts, and you admitted 
them with the full conviction of the under- 
standing. You adopted them from this ruhng 
motive, the love of your country and man- 
kind. You had no warning that the measures 
in which you engaged were acts of high 
treason : no law told you so ; no precedent 
recorded it ; no man existing upon the taco of 
the eaith could have predicted Mich an inters 
prelation. You went to y ^ ' ' with a 
perfect and full conviction, ( lat^lcd 

upon the principles ol'immuluui. jMr^Mtc, and 
that you had oftnnded no provision or statutft 
that was ever deviled. I tin- iinl.*p sitting 
upon the bench, you, ^\itiry, 

ever>'inhabilAnW*)f the i ' !trilain, 

hrul jUst as much reason to conceive tiu'V wore 
incurring the penalties of the law, as the pri* 
soners at \he bar. This is the nature of the 
crime; these arc the circumstances of tlie 

*• And for thts^ the senteoce of the court 
[but not of tlie law] is, Thai you, and each of 
you, shall bo taken from the bar, and ton* 

-■-■ ---ne, 

veycd to thr 

und from the 

the place ot t.v.ii. ,.., .,.,.. 

the neck, bvil not until yui 

shall be taken downilivr 

bers shall be cut i 

tnkrn utit nnd hnr 

'Tcd from 

tiU'fs, whit ii 
al; and the 

5ouu r* 

I then be 
anr to be 
Lord Imve 

at I: 


J^r High Tnason* 

A. D. n^. 


* ta tin? rcwmtv 

I lllfl tout 

:te of Went. in 
lid halter and 

mx^w^t lutr HI nil j'.iiJ'^ii ot SuiDt LCO- 

I SbMtditcb in til? county of Middlesex 
[ lliliour^r >uintr <Mbj€rU of our said 
tbe king t \he fear of God in 

*licmrU nor ^ ^ ibc duty of Iheir 
cc bul lift! tig moved and seduced hy 
^ligalton of the devil &i false traitors 
CKir said lord the king tUeir fcupreme 
lawful and undoubted lord and wholly 
J tlie curdtal love and true and dye 
whith evf ry tnie and htilhful sub- 
TM " shovdd and of right 

ibe^ id lord the king and 

janti wiUKiiiinMr strength intending 
ly lo break and disturb the peace 
iMOItflon Iranouillity of thi«» kin^oni of 
Bfh%in and to Mtr niuve and excite 
rebellion 'p ' '^t against our 
mM lord Ihi; king wi; i ugdam and to 

AlwCft am! ?ihrr the ' ... . .lc rule and go- 
1HMD> tdy ami hti|»pily established 

hAis : ^. I arid to depose uur ^aid lortl 
tbl Jbag Jirvtn the royal state title power and 
gwnuiueni of this kingdom and to brtn^ and 

§ao md lard the kin^ to death on the first 
of Hatch in the thirty third year of the 
I tS oilr Baverisien lard the now king 
CO divert other daj*a and times as well 
'Ne parish of Saint Giles 
V ul Middlesex aforesaid 
!HN»v atiu u.iiturously with force and 
,A6 amongst themselves and toother 
* -^ whose names 

villi 4tf eft < 

DHUin and to 
tplaliironile and ^ 
fappUHp estalilt'^l 

awr iftfd lor< 
wHttt ar 


conspire com- 
i>f^ move and 
r against 
ugdom of 
ui aitcr the le- 
K now duly and 
• this ktngdinn of 
^e our said lord the 
title power and go- 
11 and to bring and 
10 death And to 
o eflfect their moat 
' * asonable coro- 
said they the 
'^ ?oke John 
I ih Joyce 
. . .^ *hn Kicb- 
lohn 1 helvralt Kichani 
Baxter &« such false tial- 
aa afutr^aul vtth force and afm*i on the 
fe«t dav of Mafch in the thirty- third 
ija BtMi oo dirtT% other days and 
ta^weU before as after at the parish of 
'**■ afefeaaid io the county of Mid- 
malidmnly and traitor- 
eo fi a pa ie eooflult and agree 
m and iDgelher witli diven 
aie toihe 

said jurors unknown to cause and proc tire 
convention and meeting of divers* Mfh|f*rt'^ ^ 
our said lord i^ tj be as9M 

held within till n with hr. 

order that the ptfM 
convention and x\\< 
wickedly and trailer uu^ 
fiance of t he authority a i { 

the parliament of this kiAi>....>... ..- .^...ujti 
alter and cause to be subverted and alterc«i 
the legislature rule and government now duty 
and happilr established m this kingdom and 
depose and cause to be deposed our said lord the 
king from the royal state title power and go- 
vernment thereof And further to fulfil |jer<* 
feet and bring to effiect their most evil and 
wicked trea.son and treasonable com prt«s I ngf 
and imaginations aforesaid and io i>rder the 
more readily and effectually to asaemble such 
convention and meettug as aforct>nid for the 
traitorous purposes aforesaid and thereby to 
accomplish the same purposes they the said 
Thomas Hardy John Home Tooke John Au- 
gustus Bonne V Stewart Kyd Jerennah Joyce 
Thomas Wardle Thoma^i {ioltroft John Hith- 
ter Matthew Moore John Thelwall Richard 
Hodgson and John Hauler a« such fdU(? 
jisaJoresttid logetber with divcrsothcr fjlitirAu 
tors whose names are to the jurorsui , . 

known on the said fir^t diiy of Mu: nj; 

thirty-third year a I- ! on divers other 

days and times as u f t^ after with force 

and arms at the parish uJ S:iint Giles afore* 
said in the county of Middlesex afofiei*a4tf 
maliciously and trailoroiisly did coui, . 
and write and did then and there matir; 
and traitorously cause to be com poser j .md 
written divers hook§ pamphlets leitets in- 
structions resolutions orders declaiatinn!* ad- 
dresses and writiu|»3 and did then and there 
maliciously and traitoroubly cause to be ptih- 
hshed divers other books pamphlets lettei^ 
instructions resolutions orders declarations 
addreaaes and writini^s the said books pam- 
phlets letters instriictioas resolutions orders 
declarations addreitses and writings so rf« 
spectively composed written pubhshed and 
caused to t>e comfiosed written and published 
purporting and containing therein amone 
other things incitements encouragements and 
cxhortatioiis to in(»ve induce and petaiiado 
the subjects of our said lord the king to choose 
depute and send and cause to b*^ chosen dc* 
puted and sent peraons as delegates to com- 
pose and eonsttlute fuch eoovehtion and 
meeting as aforesaid to be so holdeti as afom- 
said for the traitorous purposes iifnratakl An$ 
farther to fulfil perfect and liring ta tffeet 
their most erU and wieltad Miicilt aild tft^ 
sonahle corapaa«n» wai lifiagiwatioM ifb^ 
said and in order the tiH t affaiv 

tually to aasemhle such ! meai^ 

ing as aforeiaid f'or liie uAiwrtm^ mtfumm 
af&«aid and tberal^ Id wmmfflm mm 
same ptirpoM thty M iild TfmrimWm^ 
John Horn Tooka hh 
StawmrtEy^J li lil il li l Jiyw' 

TboniasHokroft John RichterMaUhew Moore 
John TbelwalJ Kichard Hodgson and John 
BciKtcr as such false traitors as aforesaid on 
Oie said first day of March in tiie thirty-thnd 
year aforesaid and on divers other days tmd 
times as well before as after with foroe and 
arms at ttie parish of Sainl Giles aforesaid in 
the county of Middlesex aforesaid did meet 
consult and dcbberate among themselves and 
together with divers other fidse traitors whose 
names are to the j?aid jnrors unknown of and 
concerning (be calling and assembling such 
convention and meeting as aforesaid for 
tbo traUurou^ purposes aforcsiiid aud how 
when and where such convention and 
meeting should be asfemblcd and held and by 
what means the subjects of our ^-aid lord the 
king should and mi^ht be induced and moved 
to send persons as delcjjales to compose and 
constitute (he bame And further to fulhl per* 
feet and bring to effect their must evil and 
wicked treason and ti-edsoniiblc compasssings 
and imaginations aforesaid and in order the 
wore readily and eB'ectually to assemble such 
convention and meeting as aforesaid for the 
traitorous purposes aforesaid and thereby to 
accomplish the same purp<ises they the said 
Thomas Hardy John Home Tooke John An- 

fistus Bonney Steward Kyd Jeremiah Joyce 
homas Wardle Thomas llolcroft John Hich- 
ter Matthew Moore John Thelwall Richard 
Hodgson and John Bailer as such false traitors 
asaftrcsaui together with divers other tahe 
traitors whose names are to the jurors 
aforesaid unknown on the said first any ^i( 
March in ihc thirty-third year aforesaid'und 
on divers other days and times as well before 
as alter with force and arms at the parifih of 
8aiot Giles aforesaid m the county ot Middle- 
sex aforesaid maliciously and traitorously did 
consent and agree that the said Jeremiah 
Joyce John Augu&tus Bonney John Home 
Tooke Thomas Wardle Matthew Moore John 
Thclwall John Baxter Richard Hodgson one 
John Lovett one William Sharp and one John 
Peariion should meet confer and co-operate 
among themselves and together with divers 
other Talse Iraitois who^c names arc to the 
said jurors unknown for and towards the call- 
ing and assc tub ling such convention and 
meeting as aforc!!»aid fur the traitorous pur- 
poset albresaid and further to fulfil perfect 
and bring lo effect their most evil and wicked 
treason and treasonable compassings and ima- 
ginations aforet<iid they the said rhomas 
Hardy John Home Tooke John Augustus 
Bonney Stewart Kyd Jeremial) Joyce Thomas 
Wardle Thomas liolcroft John Richter Mat- 
tliew Moore Jolin ThelwaU Ricliard Hodgson 
and John Baxter as such talse traitors as 
aforesaid together with divers other false trai* 
tors whose names arc to the jurors nfor**- 
said unknown on the fir>i 
the thirty-third year atbn 
other days and times a$i w^ 
with force and arms at th*^ 
aforesaid in the couuty of Hii^uic^cJi mor^iaj^ 

Trial of Thomai Hardif 

] maliciotisly and traitorously did cause and pro* 
j cure to be made and provided and did tnca 
I anil there malieioubly and traitorously consent 
and agree to the making and providing of 
divers urms and otlensive weapons to wit guns 
mubkets pikes and axes for the purpose of 
armin!; divers subjects of our said lord the king 
in order and to the intent thai the -^umc sub- 
jects should and might unlawfully forcibly 
ajid traitorously oppo!»e and withslaud our said 
I lord the king m tl»c due and lawful exercise 
I of his royal power and aulhortiy in the exccti- 
, tion of the laws and statutes of ihts realm 
and should and might unhtwlully forcibly and 
traitorously suhvert anil alter and aid an<l 
a'^si^l in subverlinjsj iiiid altering wuh.uii and 
in defiance of the authority an<l against tlic 
will (if the parliament of thi§ kingdom the 
legi-liiture rule and government now duly and 
happily established m tltis kingdom and de* 

f)osc and aid and assist in deposing our said 
ord the king from the royal stite title powe 

[ and governinent of this kingdom and furthe 

I to fulfil |ui ' 1 bnug to fP ' :' 

j evil and v, l^oii au<l d 

passings a*^o .....i-iuationsafo-. .ui ^ 
said Thomas Hardy John Home Took^ 

\ John Augustus Bonney Stcwttrl Kyd Jer 

I miah Joyce Thomas Wardle Thomas Hot 
croft John Richter Matthew Moore John 
ThelwaU Richard Hodgson and Jolui Baxte 
us such false traitors as aforesaid wit! 

I force and armi on the said first day of 
March in the thirty-third year aforenaid 
and on divers other days and times aa well be- 
fore as after at the parish of Saint Giles afore* 
said in the county of Middlesex afut 
liciou^lyand traitorously did meetcui: 
suit and kiLT ■-- — ■^^ themselves aiu \\\u\ tii. 
versothcr rs whose names are lo Ih 

said jurors ....^ wu. Tii to vaxsg levy and mak^ 
in^:urrection rebellion and war within thii 
kingdom of Great Britain against our mu 
loru the king and further to fulfil perfect an 

I bring to efiect their most evil and wicked tre 
son and treai?on able com passings and imagin 
ations aforesaid they the said Thoma^s Hurdjl 
John Home Tooke John Augustus BonneJ 
Stewart Kyd Jeremiah Joyce Thomas W nrdk 
Thomas llolcroft John Uichlcr w 

Moore John Thclwall Richard Ho! | 

John Baxter as such false traitors u 1 j 

on the said first day of March in li 
third year aforesaid and on divers uu^< 
and times as well before as alter at tlie parisiij 

of Saint Gile*t -i-rp^iia 
Middlesex afoi' 
]iciously and i 
consult and ul 
together with d i 
names are to the &aid 
MwfttlW wickrdlv vimX 

irmtt ma 

luwU UU 
I, to %\\h 

i>aiu ioiu uic *tiji^ iiuiu uii: juvii>ia.ic tiuc 

Ji^ High Treason* 

Wd mVemment of this kingdom and 
f to fiiTnl prftVct Mil} bring lo crtcct ihcrr 
ison and Ucasoniiblc 
ton*! aforesaid and in 
dually la Lrinnj 
LiiL- b.tiil 1 hntnas Hardy 
John Augusitis Bonney 
1 juiah Joyce '1 liomas Waidlc 
\>ft Jtjliri ' Uicihler MaUhew 
•lill liicliard llo<lgson and 
1 li false traitors as aforC' 
.... divers other false tmitors 
rr. to the Jurors ^loresaid un* 
aid first day of March in the 
! ir dforesjiid Jind on divers other 

^ t'^ well before a^ after al the 

[ libresaid in the county of 

I wiih force and »rni» naa- 
'ijyly did prepare and com- 
Tid there nialiciousiy and 
III proiure lo be prepared 
- books pamphlets letters 
i> resohitiona orders 
ml did then and there 
i-tly publish and dis- 
Ikere maliciously and 
.. ,-ucure lo be published 
•Sit! ^ other bookfi pamphlets 

letti iiHtruf lions resolutions 

Otdt' I he said several 

^IM>♦^ iralions instruc- 

tion n* orders adtlresscs and writing!* 

90TV prepared composed published 

duper^U iiij,j ruu!%ed to be prepared com- 
puwd iMibli>!.hed atul dispersed as last 
^orewa ptirpnriing and containing therein 
(jiinotig^Suthrr thini;«i) incitements cncouragc- 
ito w-^' nous to move induce and 

le I H of our said lord the king 

«id at ■ r into cft'cct such 

u and deposition 
oU'-- -.w ..*-w ,...._uiitaining therein 
Other Ihing'^ mt'ormatiou instructions 
Trrrlion^ lo the Md>jects of our said 
Uow when and upon what occa- 
loroui purpones la<»l aforesaid 
" carried into effect and fur- 
:md bring to etfect their 
ison and treasonable 
itions aforesaid they 
John Home Tookc 
Stewart Kyd Jere- 
muJi iL ; I die Thomas Holcrofi 

t J^llfl flJ \ I oore John Thel ual I 

lirtr--^ iohn Baxter as such 

l£tiks [ together with divers 

fotbti .-. ^' nncs are to the 

llli : lie satd first day 

refllicrth I year aforesaid 

■nd mi drrers othi J times a*3 well 

befons fts odW at t ; i > of Saint Giles 

WihnaM in ihc county of Middlesex afore - 
nid inth forrr* and arms maliciously and 
Umilorot!' iiorure and f>Tovide and 

M cheu ' maliciously and tr&itor- 

PMljr cmiuc a£id procure lo be provided 

A. D. 1794. 


: and did then and there maliciously and trai- 
I torously consent and agree to the procuring 
' and providing arms and offensive weapons (lo 
wit) guns muskets pikes and axes therewith 
to levy and wage war insurrection and rebel- 
lion against our said lord the king within Ibis 
kingdom against the duty of the allegiance of 
thcra the said Thomas Hardy John Home 
Tooke John Augustus Bonney Stewart Kyif 
Jeremiah Joyce Thomas Wardle Thomas 
llotcrutl John Uichter Matthew Moore John 
I Thel wall Richard Hodgson and John Baiter 
against the peace of our said lord the now 
knig his crown and dignity ajid against the 
form of the statute in thai case maide and 
j provided. 

I Mr. AttorT>ey General stated to the Cotiit, 
j that he had been intbrmed by the counsel for 
the pri^ners, it was their intention the pri- 
I soners should be tried separately. It was 
; therefore his intention to proceed first on the 

trial of Thomas Hardy. 
' At tlie request of\lie prisoners' counsel^ 
the Court adjourned to Tuesday, October tho 

Sessions Haute in ihc Old Bailey , Tuesdatf^ Oc* 

Present, — I^rd chief justice Eyre; loni 
chief baron Macdouald; Mr, baron Hotham; 
Mr. justice BuUer; Mr. justice Grose; aiui 
olherJi his majesly's justices, &c. 

Coumrt for the Crown, — Mr. Attorney Ge- 
neral [Sir John Scott, afterwards lord EldonJ, 
—Mr. Solicitor General [Sir John Milford, 
afterwards lord Redesdale],— Mr. Serjeant 
Adair, — Mr. Tiearrrofl, — IVlr. Bower,^Mr, 
Law [afterwards lord RllenboroughJ,— Mn 
Garrow, [alterwards a baron of the court of 
Exchequer],— Mr. Wood [afterwards a baron 
of the court of Exchequer.] 

Solicitor, — Joseph White, esq. solicitor for 
the afl'airs of his majesty's treasury. 

Counsel farthe Prisoner. — The hon, Thomas 
Erskine, [afterwards lord Erskine], — Mr. 
Giblis [afterwards lord chief justice of the 
court of Common Pleas], 

Amitant Counhcl. — Mr, Dampier, [after- 
wards a judge of the court of King's. bench]. 
— Mr. Felix \'aughan.— Mr. Gurncy. 

Sidicitors. — Mc^sr*. George and HonMiil6 
William Clarkson, of Essex street. 

The cfjurt being opened and Thomas Hardy 
set to the bar^ the juR>rs returned by the sh^ 
rift were called over. 

Major Rhode, esq. cb^dlenged by the prxsoner. 
Thomas Martin, oilman, not a freeholder of 

the county of Middlesex. 
George Jeffer^s, jeweller, not a freeholder. 
Hu^h French, esq, challenged by the prisoner. 
Robert Mellish, ship-builder, challenged by 

the prisoner. 
William Ilarwood| esq. challenged by U|j» 

crown. "' 



Trial qf Tkomas Hardy 


|i4iie0 BagiLrtbj e«q. challenged by Ibe pri- 

gbert Lewig, esq. excused on account of UU 

[John Wiilker, esq, not a freeholder. 
Ipeorgc Wade, hU>Gk<brokeT, challenged by 

the crown, 
f Thomas Buck, esq. sworn* 
|-i'bofuas Ayliffe, esq, challenged by the pri- 
I aoatr. 

|yiu»nias Wood, esq. &woro. 
Hiack Hudson^ esq. challeiu;ed by the prisoner. 
floho MandeUy gent chafiengcd by the pri- 

Henry Bullock, brewer, challenged by the 
i crown, 

L John i*owsey, carpenter and surveyor, chal- 
I i^ged by the prisoner. 
I CforgeCapes, esq> challenged by the prisoner. 
[T'honias Rhodes, cow^keeper, challenged by 

Uie prisoner. 
\ Edward Hehne, esq. challenged by the pri- 

[ leficry Holmes, esq. challenged by the crown. 
William Fmser, esq, sworn, 
r Jkpslcy Pellat, ironmonger, not a freeholder, 
j Hugh Reynolds, esq. challenged by the pri- 
i toner* 
[Thomas Harrison, cow-keeper, challenged by 

the prisoner. 
I |>anitsl Cosset, esq. not a freeholder. 
Uichard Meaux, esq, not a freehoMer. 
Dicker Saunders^ e&q. one of the people called 
r (i^ailvert Clapham, gent not a freeholder* 
I Jolm Leader, gent challenged by the prisoner. 
. John Guci»l,esq, excused on account of illness. 
I Charles Fuurdrjnier, stationer, not a freeholder. 
> Adam StcinmeU, biscuit-baker. 

Mr, Aittirney GeneraL — Are you a natiural 
Jwrn subject ? 

Mr, SUinmetz, — Ycs, — Sworn. 
Alexander Baxter, esq. not a freeholder, 
JSLichard Child, distiller, not a freeholder. 
Jeremiah Blakeniau, timber merchant, chal- 
lenged by the pri*yoner, 
Robert Kilby Cox, esq, challenged by the 


' Richar<i Hunt, esq. not a freeholder. 
I James Payne, esq. challenged by the crown. 
I fkJewell Connop, distiller, sworn, 
; Jului Mercer, mealman, sworn. 
^ JuKd Kixon, cooper, challenged by the crown. 
) Thomas Saycr, esq. sworn. 
Ifichaid Carter, esq. sworn. 
^ ' ird Ualc, gent, challenged by Uie pri- 

rgc Fillingham, esq. cluillcnged by the 

Samuel Rudge, esq, not a freeholder, 
VyiUiam Perry, esq. dbalknged by Uic pri- 
^.lUJjard Goughi uq. cbftll^ged by U)« pri- 
^ Josltiiifc Brookc6| dealer b btrd#» mil ^ &ec« 

Tbomat Ijmttmc, esq. not » ffochoUkr. 

Thomas Skipp Dyott BuckneJl, a«q. challenge 

cd by the prisouer. 

John Blfickburn, esq. challenged by the pri- 

Samuel Mills, weaver* 
Mr. AJiiU -My father left in hts witl all 

his estate to my brother and me, and ap. 

pointed trustee«», tiiid we are not by I he wilij 

to be of a^e till we are thirty-Ave, 

Joseph Bird, et^q. not a freeholder of Middle- 


Thomas Powell, esq, challenged by the prW 

William Eraerson, esq. not a freeholder. 
James Cook, esq. nut a freeholder. 
Nathan iel Slonard, brewer, sworn. 
Joseph Maw ley, gent not a freeholder. 
Thomas Allen, brewer, challenged by the pn* 

John Baker, esq. challenged by the prisoner. 
Wiiham How, esq. not a freeholder. 
James Smith, ei»q. (challenged by the prisoner* 
Bryiin MarUiali, gent. cliaJienged by tlie pri- 
Joseph Nicoll, gentleman farmer, 6woni. 
Thomas Bird, dibtdler, not a tree holder. 
Robert Vincent, e»q. not a freeholder. 
David iCoberlb, esq. chalkoged by llie prW 

George Brooks, esq, not a frexhiiWi^r 
William Arnold^ cmj. not a i 
Thomas Nijuin, esq. not a it^ 
Thomas bniith, ctq. clmlJeog^ by iIm firt- 

John Citarrington, c^q. swum, 
George Hi)^by, ti^q* not a freeholder. 
Thomas Atleui oftq. challcngod by the pti* 

Anflrew Durt, esq. challenged by the rrown. 
Charles Smith, distiller, challenged by the 

Archibald Paicton, wine merchant, challenged 

by the prisoner. 
Italph Keddy, e&q. not a freeholder. 
John liarsley, esq. not a freeholder, 
Wtlliam NicoU, larmer, challe^igied by the 

Kdwurd Franklin, farmer excuied OJI acco 

ol iltnr-ss. 
Mv ley, coal mercbaotjchatteogjedllif 

1, ■.-cr, 

John Ihompson, brewer, chaUenge4 by the 

Joseph Ainsliffi €sq. ivorn. 

Thomas Buck, 
Thomas Wood, 
William Fraser, 
Adam Slcinmelz, 
N- lop, 

Jo I 



iiAui Uoiiii; IumIu^, 4^r 

Thomas Sayer, 
Rjchard Cdrter^ 
Nullmuiel btou.uJ, 
Joseph N trhol, 




-[LUfc Uai, Cluk of 


Jbr^High Treason* 

A. D. 1794. 


Arraigns read the Indictment]. — Upon this 
indictment he hath been arraigned, and upon 
his arraignment hath pleaded not guilty, and 
for his trial hath put himself upon Cod and 
the country, whicn country you are. Your 
cbar^ is, to inquire whether he be jguilly of 
the Sgh treason whereof he stands indicted, 
or not guilty. If you find him guilty, you 
sre to inquire what goods or chattels, lands 
or tenements, he had at the time of the 

»{h treason committed, or at any time since. 
you find him not g^iilty, you are to inquire 
whether he fled for it , if you find that he 
did fly for it, you shall inquire of his goods 
and cliattels as if you had found him guilty. 
If you find him not guilty, and that he did not 
fly for it, say so, and no more, and hear your 

The Indictment was opened by Mr. Wood. 

Mr. AUorney-Oeneral (sir John Scott). — 
May it please your Lordship and Gentlemen of 
tbeJuiy;— In the course of stating what J 
have to oflfer to your most serious attention 
ID this great and weighty cause, aflectui^, as ; 
it certainly does, the nearest interests o\ the i 
community, aftecting, as you will remember j 
throughout this business, every interest which i 
can be valuable to tlie prisoner at the bar, I ' 
shall have frequent occasion to call that anxi- 
ous attention to the different parts of the in- 
dictment which has just been opened to you. 
I forbear to do so at this moment, because I 
think that attention will be more usefully, 
both with respect to the public, and to the 
prisoner, given and required in another part 
of what I am to address to you. 

Gentlemen, the prisoner, who is before you, 
stands charged (to state the indictment gene- 
ndly) with the offence of compassing his ma- 
jesty's death ; he was committed upon that 
charge by his majesty's privy council : I will 
eiplain to you presently why I state this and 
the follow iog facts. In consequence of the 
apprehension of this prisoner, of several 
others charged by this indictment, and of 
others whose names do not occur in this in- 
dictment, proceedings of some notoriety were 
had in parliament, and an act passed, em- 
powering his majesty to detain such persons 
as he suspected were conspiring against his 
government. That act has asserted, that a 
traitorous and detestable conspiracy had been 
formed for subverting the existing laws and 
^vcmmcnt of the country, and for introduc- 
ing that system of anarcby and confusi9n, 
which had ^o fatally prevailed hi France ; the 
act, upon the spur of the emergency, which it 
con tern plated, authorized the detention with- 
out bail, mainprizc, or discharge, of the pcr- 
Kns then in pri^ion for high treason, or trea- 
K/Oable practices, or who should afterwards 
te committed, for high treason or treasonable 
prac tires, by warrants from the privy council 
or seaetary of state, until the first of Febru- 
iry, 17»5. 

GentleiHen« this measure, which did not 
suspend the opecaiiuii of the Habeas Corpus 


act, that great palladium of English liberty, 
but with reference to particular persons, un- 
der particular commitments, for particular 
offences, is a measure never adopter] in this 
country by parliament but in cases, in which it 
is understood, after giving all possible atten- 
tion to secure the right of the subject from 
being broken in upon, to be of the last possi- 
ble necessity, and which has b^en repeatedly 
put in force, in the best of times, in such 
cases, where the wisdom of parliament appre- 
hended that it was matter of their dutv to 
provide that the nation should part with its 
liberty for a while, that it might not lose it 
for ever. 

Gentlemen, appearing before you this ,day 
in discharge of that duty, which I have been 
commanded to execute and the execution of 
which appears to me to be absolutely ne- 
cessary, you will collect from the fact that 
I do appear here this day, that, according 
to the true constitutional meaning of such 
an act of parliament, it is not that the trial 
of such persons shall be delayed during the 
period of the suspension of the act, but 
that the act shall, with reference to the time 
of trial, be allowed, in the ripbt execution 
of it, an operation only to that extent in 
which the uue consideration of the public 
safety, tempered with a due attention to the 
liberty of the individual subject, may require. 

Gentlemen, the proceedings of tfiie Icgisla- 
lature having been such as I have stated to 
you, his majesty, constitutionally advised in 
the exercise of his duty, as the great conser- 
vator of the public peace, directed a commis- 
sion to issue to inquire whether any such trea- 
sons, as the presumption of such a traitorous 
conspiracy must necessarily suppose to have 
existed, had been committed by any persons, 
and by whom. In the execution of the duties 
of that commis*^ion, a grand jury of this coun- 
ty, upon their oaths, have declared that there 
is ground of charge against the person at Uie 
bar, and against others, sufficient to call uoon 
them, in a trial to be had before you, their 
country, to answer to an accusation of high 
treason, in compassing his majesty's death. 

Gentlemen, I have stoted these circum- 
stances, that I may convey to you, in as 
strong terms as I can express it, this observa- 
tion, that, as the proccedinirs of parliament 
ought to have had (and I am persu idcd, from 
the dclibrration which they gave the suljject, 
that tlipy had) no inthienco upon the judicial 
mind of the grand inquest, neither ought these 
procecdin«;s to affect your incuiiriO!*, or to in- 
duce you to Jinv dotcnninatioii, which you are 
to make upon the issue, which you are now 
sworn to trv. 

Gentlemen, there is no one cirrumstince of 
any procccdiuirs before parliameut, with re- 
ference to which YOU ought to suffer your- 
selves to be influenced in the trial of this is- 
sue. It is obvious that such proceedings, us 
were had in parliament, providing for «;rcat 
emergencies, may be required and aulho- 




Trial of Thomas Hardy 


f izedl by the genuine spirit of the constitu- 
I tion, even in cases in which a grand jury might 
not, upon any thing that could be offere<rto 
ihcir consideration, be justified in finding a 
I bill : it is muc:h more obvious, that, in a pro- 
ceeding before you, a consideration of the wis- 
dom and propriety of the acts of the legisla- 
ture is not called for* 

You therefore, gentlemen of the jury, will 
conjider the prisoner as standing before you 
rln f\i\\ possession of an absolute ri^ht to the 
|*presumption of innocence, notwithstanding 
l^e is charged with guilt by this indictment, 
f us you will near, except 9o far as that presump- 
[ tjon is met by the single simple fact, that he has 
rl>cen accused by a grand jury of his country. 
Gentlemen, before I conclude these general 
^observations, you will permit me to say» on 
I the other hand, that, if there has been' any 
p thing that has fallen under your observation, 
by act or publication— any attempt to make 
_ impression upon the minds of those who 
ure this day impanelled to try this great cause, 
disparage inat advice, which, under the 
Inmost responsible sanction, may be ^iven you 
rin matter of law, to work in your mmds any 
['prejudice either against the prisoner, or on 
l^the prisoner's behalf; on the one hand I am 
"cctly sure that your integrity will be secu* 
tity to the public, that vou will not permit 
lany ultcmpt of that kind to have any opera- 
lion ; on the other hand, gentlemen of ihe jury, 
Jl ajn equally sure that I need not ask from an 
f English jury, that thcv would permit no such 
rtttempl to prejudice lliem against the prison- 
|€r at tne bar, — no, not even an injudicious or 
Pill executed attempt, to influence them in his 

Gentlemen, in order to understand the law 
Jl>f treason, and the indictment, I shall take 
Pthc liberty first to slate to you the character 
'lyhich I apprehend the king, for the protec- 
[Jtion of whose person and government the 
^itatute in question was made, has in the 
Instate and constitution of this country. 
r Gentlemen, the power of the "state, by 
I vhich 1 mean the power of making laws, and 
^forcing the execution of them when made, 
13 veslea in the king ; enacting laws, in the 
f one case, that is, in lus legislative character, by 
rkad with the advice and consent of the Lords 
[ipiritual and temporal^ and of the Commons 
fin parlramerit assembled, assembled according 
Wm law and constitni»onal cu*>tum of Eng- 
ad ; in the other ca«e, executing the laws, 
If hen made, in subservience to the laws m 
Itnude, and with the advice, which the law and 
the consttlulign hivp a*> signed to h-r*; i" "' 
"^nost every in>tancc in which they h 

rUOuii hum tuAii liu l»4-fu fit fit ' I 

ffiOuvetic5 tcf* the yi i ex- i 

ilcnceoh' ■ ' ,;i^ ronveniii_ • 'lom, | 

ccording to ilio Uw and ctiston* al 
y, he is bound to convene. Tin 

it, aUJDg m liii royal pohtical t 

capacity, and the I^rds and Commons thcrt 
assembled, form the great body politic of the 
kingdom, by wliich is exercised sovereign au- 
thority in legislation. Gentlemen, whUstlhe 
present law, the present constitution, andpre* 
sent government of Great Britain, exist, no 
law can be made but by that authority ; no 
legislative power can he created against the 
wul, and in defiance of that authority. Whe- 
ther in any, or in what circumstances, an at* 
tempt to create such a power is a treason for- 
bidden by the statute of the Si 5th of Edward 
3rd, I propose to examine presently. 

Gentlemen, as in the king the power of 
legislation is vested, as well as the executive 
power of the state, to be exercised with con- 
sent and advice, to be exercised according to 
those laws, which arc the birthright and in^ 
heritance of the subject, having upon hioi 
the care and protection of the community ; 
to him, in return, the allegiance of every m* 
dividual is, according to the law of England, 
due ; that allegiance, by which the subject is 
bound, in the language of the statutes of this 
country, to defend him ** against all trakiorous 
conspiracies and attempts whatsoever, which 
shall be made against his person, his crowD^ 
or his dignity." 

Gentlemen, to ascertain to whom this care 
and protection is committed — to ascertain ttt 
whom this allegiance is due, the breach of 
which, according to the venerihWi Inrd Hale, 
constittites high treason, is to tlie 

peace of the community— to i and to 

define accurately what constitutes a breach 
of that allegiance, is essentially and abaoUitely 
necessary to the security of ail that our an- 
cestors have claimed, demanded, and insisted 
upon, as the ancient, undoubted rights and 
lioerties of our country. 

Gentlemen, the former of these objects is 
secured by the law and constitutional custont 
of England ; that law which alike secures to 
you every right, whether it be a right of pep- 
son or of property. It has made the crowrr, 
which his majesty wears, hereditary (ami I 
beg your atleaiion to that), subject to lirai- 
tation by parliament The latter object has 
been most anxiously secured by the stati 
referred to in the indictment, which brii 
forward the charge, the truth of whirh yi 
arc now to try. 

Gentlemen, the kin* having this hef^^dilafy 


crown, i1 


inrimibent ujmn nun lo r^vi 

fit of the subject, in the f > 

''"t ^'-' » •' • '»- 1 fiim w.LM.i 

irh duties 


dolv '-■! 

high tt 

bre^cii < 
to it; ht 





thm MA hi& duue^ la that oalb| to whu:li| 

S45J J&r High Treason. 

Uiroiighout tlai5 biismcs3» I must agaio call 
your uttctitiofi, ill tlmt oath which he is bound 
I in him, at his coronation, by which 

J- -^ and swears ** to govern the. peo- 

ple ui Uu:i country/' mark the words, ^nlle- 
mtlkf " according to the statutes in parliament 
4igtt€d uucn^ and the lows and customs of the 
mme ; that lo his power he will cause law in 
justice and mercy to be administered ; that 
hm will roaintain the laws of God and the 
tf^^.v r.,-, ,t.i.<,ion of religion estiiblished by law.** 
jcn^ this oath, stated b^ that great 
£__ ^Liihlc coustitutiocril judge, Mr. 
juiticc Foster, to be a solemn and a public 
raeoguitioD, not only of the duties of the 
Idogf but of tlie fundamental rights of the 
peoptCp iioposeth upon hiro (and throughout 
iltb oue H cannot be too slrtmgly recollected 
iJtel tl iiDposcth upon him) the mo^t sacred 
iMgiitJOD to ^m'crn according to the lavvs 
—-' statutes in parliament agreed u pon, ac- 
* J to lh« laws and customs of the ioot^, 
ad no otiicr. 

<leiitlemen, addressing this Court, which 
ti a oourt vf law, iu whicli you, the jury, are 
mcil to make a true deliverance according 
lolbclawof England, can I impress it too 
itnicigljr tliat it cannot be supposed by possi- 
^'^' ai>l by possibiJity— thai the king can, 
eolly with his oath, and with the an- 
duly recognized in the exphcit en- 
at, ihc terms of which you have heard, 
.«^/acty or permil himself to act, as kin^ 
areonfitig to any rules of government, formed 
1^ aitjr bodies of men, assuming any charac* 
tcr, fooclions, or situations, those rules of 
gif e flUAi cDt beJB^ meant to operate as laws, 
tit i$aihiie$ ^gremupon in parliament, and the 
imM 9tmd emitomi of the same^ onli^ excepted f 

CentletDen, it seems to me to follow^, as a 
r eopdmion from the reasoning to 
1 to a court of law, not only Ihat 
conspire to remove the king out 
her, but that those 
9\\ him, unless he will 

^911111 tbc p%Hjj*le iic-<::t>idmg to laws, which 
am «>t statutes in piirlfAment agreed upon, 
and the laws an; i of the same, or as 

Ibt hmd of a i^o I framed and modi- 

fici tr^ asy auUionty not derived from that 
fHcifUBent, do tun spire to depose him from 
ik^ rwyoi ** ' ' ' r, and governtaetit, 

mhifh tM I iions, and to sub- 

v«it asiS ; od govemmcot rob? 

atrntlak^ im. Ue aught not 

•9 to govt;.. irml (.o i/cjvpm^he 

n bcnnd to rcAi ^ard 

^ ftll lis conM^^ I the 

I; raibUncc nece^^inly produces de- 
I it CtKianjijcrs his life. 

uf them, have assigned 

irid responsible advisers: 

nKicr various consti- 

tions, with various 

aaii jiTtiV5iiUvcs, as necessary for 

I king^ upon whom these 
^w and constitution, for 

A. D. 1704. 

the support and raainlenancc of the civil li^ 
berties of the people : they ascribe to him 
sovereignty, imperial dignity, and perfection : 
and because the rule and government, as es- 
tablished in this kingdom, cannot e^i^t for a 
moment witliout a person hhing that oiBce, 
and able to execute all the duties from time 
to time, which I have now stated, they as- 
cribe lo him also that he never cciines to exist. 
In foreign aftUirs^ the delegate and represen- 
tative ol his people, he makers w;ir and peac!e, 
leagues and treaties: In domestic cuuccras, 
he has prcrogiilivcs, us a ronstiUicnt part of 
the supreme regisbiure; the prerogative of 
raising tiecls and armies; he is the Ibuntain 
of justice, bound to administer it to his pc;o- 
ple, because it is due to them ; the great con- 
I servator of public peace, bound to maintain 
i and vindicate it; every where present, that 
these dtities may no where fail tif being dis- 
charged; the tbun tain of honour, othce, and 
privilege ; the arbiter of dome*<Uc comraerce, 
the head of the national church. 

Gentlemen, I hope I shall not be thought 
to mispend your time in stating thus much, 
because it appears to me that the fact, that 
such is the character, that such are the duties, 
that such arc the attributes and prerogatives 
of the king in this country (all existmg for 
the protection, security, and happiness of the 
people in an established form ot government}, 
accounts for the just anxictv, bordering upon 
jealousy, with which the law watches over 
his person — itccounts for the fact that, in 
every indictment, the compassing or imagin- 
ing his deslmction, or deposition, seoras to 
be considered as necessariiy co-existing with 
an intention lo subvert the rule and govern- 
ment established in the country : it i*» a pur- 
pose to destroy and lo depose Aim, in whom the 
supreme power, rule, and government, under 
constitutional checks and limitations, is 
vested, and by whom, with consent and ad- 
vice in some cases, and with advice in all 
cases, the exercise of this constitutional power 
is to be carried on. 

Gentlemen, this language, the tenor and 
charge of every indictment, b roost clearly 
expressed by lord Hale, when he says that 
high treason is an offence more immediately 
against the perxan and gifvermnrnt of the 
king : I cannot &laic it more strongly lo you, 
or from an authority, the uuthenticjiy of 
which will be less questioned by those w^ho 
are to defend the prisoner at tlie bar, than 
when I state lo you the language of one of 
the counsel for lord George Gordon upon the 
last trial for high treason: iuderd it is no 
more than what follows the law of England 
as dehvered by all those great lawy^^rw, wlioso 
authority, I am persuaded, will not be atr 
tempted to be shaken in the course of Ibis 
trial, when it states this principle iIuist — 
« To compass or imagine the Jeath of the 
king, such imagination or purpose of the 
mind, visible only to its great Author, being 
mauifested by some opcQ act, an institution 



obviously directed not only to the security of 
his natural person, but to the stability of the 
^vernment, the life of the prince being so 
interwjivcn with the constitution of the state 
that an attempt to destroy the one is justly 
held tu be a rebellious conspiracy against the 

Gentlemen, it will be ray duty to state to 
you presently what is in law an attempt 
against the life of the king. It seems, there- 
fore, that when the ancient law of England, 
—And I would beg your attention to what 
I am now stating to you, — that when 
the ancient law ot England was changed, 
which, even in the case of a subject, held the 
intent to kill homicide, as well as, in the case 
of the king, the intent to kill or depose, with- 
out the tact, where a measure was taken to 
effectuate the intent, treason, with a ditlercnce 
however as to the nature of the acts deemed 
sufficient, in the one case, or in the other, to 
manifest the one or the other intent, that to 
use the words of a great and venerthle autho- 
rity, I mean Mr. Justice Foster, " it was with 
great propriety that the statute of treason 
retained the rigour of the law in its full extent 
in the case of the king. In the case of him/* 
says he, " who>e life must not be endangered, 
because it cannol be ttken away by treasona- 
ble practices, without involving a nation in 
blood and' contusion : levelled at him, the 
stroke is levelled at the public tranquillity." h 

Gentlemen, that it may be iully understood 
what it is that I have- to contend for in the 
course of this trial, I put you in mind a^ain 
that I have before stated, that, as it is abso- 
lutely necessary to the security of individuals, 
not less necessary to the security of individuals, 
than it is necessary to the security of the 
nation which they compose, that the person 
and ^overnmf nl of the king should be thu*s 

Trial of Thomas Hardy [Sig 

should tarnr without goine to judgment of the 

treason, till the cause oe snowed and declsied 

before the king and his parliament ;" — in the 

expressive language, which your ancestors 

have used, when the provisions of the statute 

of Edward were first mtroduced into the code 

of law under which we live, and of those 

statutes, by which treasons were brought 

back to the provisions of that statute, tne 

experience of your ancestors, thus handed 

down to you, has demonstrated this necessity. 

I admit too (and my treating the subject thus 

in the outset may ultimately save your tim^ 

that before the statute was made, upon which 

the indictment proceeds, the security of the 

subject was not sufficiently provided' for. I 

admit that security is not sufficiently provided 

for now, if construction can he allowed to 

give an exposition to the statute, which the 

legislature did not intend it >hould receive. 

I Gentlemen, iipon each of these heads it 

I was necessary for me to trouble you ^ilh 

I some, and but with a few observations. 

I That the law of treason should be deter- 

' minate and certain, though clearly necessary 

! for the security of the subject, is not more 

necessary for their security, than tiiat there 

should he a law of treason, and that this Uw 

I should be faithfully, duly, and firmly exe- 

. cuted 

I Gentlemen, every state imisi have some 
; form or regimen of government; in other 
I words, it must determine by whom, and under 
I what modifications, the sovereign power is to 
! be exercised in the country ; for no govern- 
! ment can exist, unless this power is placed 
somewhere : and the attempt to >ubvert that 
; power is, in the nature of the thing, an 
; attempt to subvert the established govcm- 
! ment. It is of necessity that an attempt of 
this ^ort sbiHild hegULinled ag^ain^tf 


Jiff High Treaton> 

A. D. 1794. 


IrglsUlare In Edward's time proposed, when I 
Ihrv - '-'l the liacred staUitc upon tvbkh | 
Ijji nt is Ibonded ; that stalute was 

iii.iiJw ..>. i.t more precipe definition of this 
crime, which, hv the common law^ had not 
been «tiftitiently ciilencJfid, and *' the pkin 
uuextenilcd letter of il," you will mark the 
avoids,** lt>e plain iitiexiended letter of it was 
Ihcnigbt to be a suflicieiU prolectiun to the 
person and hunoiir of the sovereign'** but not 
only to the perhun and honour of the sove- 
reign, but ^ an ti(it'<iuate »tturiiy lo (he (awt 
t^mmiiUd io his cjiecutinn^* 

Gentlemen, in ad<lressing a jury in a court 

of law» sworn to make deliverance according 

to thai law which constilulcs the court in 

which they sit, there arc two propositions, 

[ which appear to me to he alike clear : — the 

^^bst 15, titat I ought not, that I cannot dare to 

^|bl upon you to say, that there has been 

P^Stn milled under ttiis statute any oft'ence, if 

f the facts of the case to he laid before you, by 

plain, manifest, authorized interpretalioa of 

the statute, do not constitute an offence 

under it; — if the statute should seem to any 

man, or to you, not to be a sufficient and 

adequate security to the person ami honour 

4>f the sovereign^ and the due exectitiou of the 

laws, it IS nevertheless all the security wliich 

the law has authorized you to ^ive thecn, and 

Ood forbid that you should llunk of giving 

IDOre» On the other hand, you are bound by 

3'our oaths, if this law has been vioUlfd in 

•kct* if the fact of violation is proved by 

wdenre, convincing in its nature, and j^uch 

ni its fono as ttie law requires (for the law in 

I this case reqiiires not only convincing* but 

furnial evulcnce), then you are hound to give 

to the person and honour of the sovereign, 

and to the laws iif your country, that prolec- 

lion, which a verdict, asserting in substame 

that the statute has been violated, would give, 

•od wh»ch ihe statute intended should be 


Gentlemen, men of honour and of con- 
icience, acting under the sanction of the oath 
which they have taken, must come to the 
saine conclusion, judging of the same fact^, 
by the same law, whatever their principles ot 
I government may be, unless they differ upon 
L the effect of Uie fact* laid liefure them. In the 
^.^Sifial of H person, whose name I shall have 
r ^«bimdant reason to mention to you in the 
^ courts of tins proceeding, I mean the author 
of the Uights of Man, charged with a Hbei 
Sigarnst the monarchy of the country, il was 
judiciously, truly, justly, and strongly ad* 
mitted in ettecU that, if the jury had been 
composed (if there are twelve such men in 
this Country) of re pubiicans, wishing to over- 
turn thu govcrruuent of the totTutry, yet 
u!. lug the law of Kngland, in a court 

rn law, if they were convinced that 

Lt had, according to that law, been 

' no man would have the audacity 

lu .^, ...vt tbcv Ciiuld be capable of that 

cfiine <ic;ujnitt tJie pwblir, to think for a 

in omen t of not coming to the conclusion, 
which the facts called tor, according to the 
law by which they were sworn to decide upon 
the matter before I hem.* 

Gentlemen, the stutuie upon which this 
indictment proceeds, is to the following effect t 
— il states {and it slates most truly), •* that 
divers opinions had been had before this 
time,** that is, the 95th Edward 3rd, •* in what 
case treason should be sail I, and m what not : 
the kmg, at the request of the Lords and of 
the Commons, hath made a decbiration in the 
manner as hereafter followeth, that is to say, 
when a man doth compass or imagine the 
death of our lord the king, or ofourlady his 
queen, or of their eldest son antl heir; or if a 
man do violate ihe king's companion, or the 
king's eldest dauc; liter, unmarried, or the wife 
of the king's eldest son and heir ; or if a man 
do levy war against our lord the king; in hjj 
fealm, or be adherent to the king's enemlet 
in his realm, givin* to them aid and comfort 
in the realm or elsewhere, and thereof ba 
provaltly attainted" — by which words 1 under- 
stand be attainted by evidence, that clearly 
and forcibly satisfies the minds and con- 
sciences of those who arc to iry the fact— 
** attainted of open deed by people of their 
condition,'* — then there is this, to which you 
will be bound to give your attention for the 
sake of the prisoner, as well as for the sake of 
the public, the interests of both being blended 
in this great cause ; — ** and because that 
many other like cases of treaMin may happen 
in lime to come, which a man cannot think 
nor derlare at this present time, it is accorded 
Ihat^ if any other case, supposed treason^ 
which is not above specified, dolh happen 
before any justices, the justices sliall tarry 
without any going to jutlgment uf the treason 
till the cause be showed and declared before 
the kiuff and his parliament, whether il 
ought to he judged treason, or other lelony." 

Ucntlemen, I desire to point out here, in 
the must marked way in which I tan stale it, 
the anxiety, with which the pdrhament 
wished to preserve to itself the jiidgnienls of 
lrcason% not being ihe specified ireasons in 
the staliile, but being like treasons, those 
which, by a parity cjfrtii 'tuning r*ii-ht be said 
to be treason. They would nut tnist the sub- 
jects of the country m the hand of any court 
of justice upon that point I mark llie cir- 
cum'tauce, because it appears to me to give a 
degree of aulhorily to the law of Kngland 
upon the Miljet t of trea*ion, and to the con- 
slrucliuns, which have been made upon il, 
and to the distinctions, which have been made 
between like rreason>, and overt aits of the 
same treason, that perhaps does not belong 
to conj^tructions and di>Unctitms adopted in 
the course of judicial proceedings upon aajr 
other law in the statute-book. 
Gcnikraen, having read the statute to you, 

* See Mr. Ersklne*s defence of Paine, Vol* 
^^, p. 415 of this Collection. 




obviously directed not only to the security of 
his natural person, but to the stability of the 
^vernment, the life of the prince being so 
interwoven with the runstitution of the state 
that an attempt to destroy the one is justly 
held tu be a rebellious conspiracy against the 

Gentlemen, it will be ray duty to state to 
you presently what is in law an attempt 
against the life of the king. It seems, there- 
fore, that when the ancient law of England, 
— 4md I would beg your attention to what 
I am now stating to you, — that when 
the ancient law ot England was changed, 
which, even in the case of a subject, held the 
intent to kill homicide, as well as, in the case 
of the king, the intent to kill oi' depose, with- 
out the fact, where a measure was taken to 
effectuate the intent, treason, with a dilfercnce 
however as to the nature of the act^( deemed 
sufficient, in the one case, or in the other, to 
manifest the one or the other intent, that to 
use the words of a great and venerable autho- 
rity, I mean Mr. Justice Foster, •* it was with 
great propriety that the statute of treason 
retained the rigour of the law in it? fiill extent 

Triid of Th<mas Hardy [S48 

should tarnr without gpine to judgment of die 
treason, till the cause be snowed and declared 
before the king and his parliament ;" — in the 
expressive languaec, wnich your ancestor! 
have used, when the provisions of the statute 
of Edward were first introduced into the code 
of law under which we live, and of those 
statutes, by which treasons were brought 
back to the provisions f;f that statute, tne 
experience of your ancestors, thus handed 
down to you, has demonstrated this necessity. 
I admit too (and my treating the subject thus 
in the outset may ultimately save your tioi^ 
that l>efore the statute was made, upon which 
the indictment proceeds, the security of the 
subject was not sufficiently provided for. I 
admit that security is not sufficiently provided 
for now, if construction can be allowed to 
give an exposition to the statute, which the 
I legislature did not intend it should receive. 
I Gentlemen, upon each of these heads it 
I was necessary for me to trouble you with 
I some, and but with a few observations. 
I That the law of treason should be deter- 
minate and certain, though clearly necessary 
for the security of the subject, is not more 

in the case of the king. In the case of him," ' necessary for their security, than that there 

says he, '* whose life must nut be endangered, , should be a law of treason, and that this law 

because it cannot be tiken away by treasona- I should be faithfully, duly, and firmly exc- 

ble practices, without involving a nation in i cuted 

blood and' confusion: levelled at him, the 
stroke is levelled at the public tranquillity.'* h 
Gentlemen, that it may be iully understood 
what it is that i havf to contend for in the 
course of this trial, I put you in mind a^ain 
that I have before stated, that, as it is abso- 
lutely necessary to the security of individuals, 
not less necessary to the security of individuals, 
than it is necessary to the security of the 
nation which they compi»se, that the person 
and government of the king should be thus 

Gentlemen, every state must have some 
form or regimen of government; in other 
words, it must determine by whom, and under 
what modifications, the sovereign power is to 
be exercised in the country ; lor no govern- 
ment can exist, unless this power is placed 
somewhere : and the attempt to subvert that 
power is, in the nature of the thing, an 
attempt to subvert the established govern- 
ment. It is of necessity that an attempt of 
this sort should he guarded against, by severer 

defended ; on the other hand^ for the security ' penalties than offences, which being hrcach^ 

of the suhjtit, it is equally necessary that 
the crime of high treason should not he inde- 
terminate, that It should not he unascertained, 
or undefined, cither in the law itself, or in the 
construction to be m<ide of that law. 

Gentlemen, this necessity is not to be col- 
lected merely in this country from reasoning, 
though it may obviously enough he collected 
from rea'iouing ; the experience of your ances- 
tors has informed you, I admit it,' and I beg 
to prc>s it upoii your attenUon, as much as 
any man in this court can press it upon your 
attention, the experience of your ancestors 
has informed you, in the ju«t and hitter com- 
plaints which are to be found in their annals, 
of the periods, in which no man knew how 
he ought to l)ehave himself, to do, speak, or 
say, lor d<»uht of pains of treason, — in the 

of parti( ular laws, do not endanger the very 
existence of the slate itself, which do not 
involve, in the dc«»truction of the state, the 
destruction of all laws, hut which leave the 
law, though violated in particular cases, .suffi- 
cient, in general cases, for the protection of 
the personal security, th.e liberty, and happi- 
ness of the subject. 

Gentlemen, this is also the reasoning of 
that great judge, whose name I before men- 
tioned to you, my lord Hale : — " The ercat- 
ncss of the offence," he says, " and the 
severity of the punishment, is upon these 
reasons: — First, l)ecause the safety, peace, 
and tranquillity of the kingdom is higlily con- 
cerned in the safety and preservation of the 
person, dignity, and government of the king, 
and therefore the laws of the kingdom have 

anxiety with whii h the statute of Edward 8nJ | given all possible security to the kiug*s person 
reserved the judgment of all treasons not i and government, and under the severest 
there expressly specified—** that the justices penalties.'** 

Gentlemen, to describe this great ofience 

* See Vol. 91, p. 589 of this Collection, 
t Sec Foster's Crown Law, discourse 1, 
chap. 1; sec. 9, p. 194, 195, ed. of 1799. 

with precision and accuracy, was what the 
* Hale's PleasoftheCrowDy part 1, chap. 10. 

for High Treaum* 

Ir^ildliire roposwj, when | 

lijtjrr.*:' iie upon vvljtch i 

thid ( is touiitieii i tliHt statute was 

iMidc -re prrn!»e c)c6iiiUon of Ihta 

whicii, ty the coincTum Uw, had not 
•i^i'flittrnMv ixlcfstit'dj dnd ** the plain 
uer or it," you will ruark the 
iin uncxtei>dcd letter of it was 
;^. surticifMl proleclion to the 
air ot Ihe sovereign;" but not 
o M.L yH.rsjuu and honour of the sovc- 
l>Ot " un iieirtfytitc tfCurity to the iamt 

mg ft jury in a court 

, 'Jtliverancc according 

Umi tAW wbicki eon&titutes the court in 

^*ich tScy ait, tlierc are two propositions, 

nemr to me to ht alike clear : — the 

il I ought not, thai I cannot dure to 

UjM>» you to my, timt there has been 

R»fnilt«d under this statute any offejicc, if 

i fcu of the case to be laid before you, by 

rnanitejit, authorised inlerpreution of 

tfaittiir^^ do not conritilute an oftence 

it; — if the statute should seem to any 

!, DC lo you, not to be a sufficient and 

[tiAte Security to the person and liouour 

.*..^....,., .^,,c| I he due execution of the 

II the security which 

t i . ,uu lo give them, and 

11 should tn ink of giving 

' r hand, you are hound by 

this law has been violatrd in 

ft Iff violation h proved by 

:ig in its nature^ and >ucli 

i.v requires (for the law in 

not only convirjcing, but 

jen you are hound ty give 

honour of the toveretgn, 

s uur country* that prolec- 

V - ^ ' tancc 

' Jive, 

A. D. iim. 



I mpn nf Honour and of con- 

' ianction of the oath 

1, must come to the 

ig of the same fact*, 

v'er their principles of 

^% unle»'4 Ihev differ upon 

Inlaid be^nre tliem. In the 

uu, whose name I th;iJl have 

nfi in men t if in to you in the 

II ihe author 

' ith a libel 

. i\ ni III*' ii'untry, it wa«i 

juilly, and strongly ad- 

.» * it,^ ...*y jj^^j ^J^^„ 

« h men in 

' lo over- 

, yet 


1 thjt 

, been 

ni have tlie audacity 

i be capable of that 

a^^Ail tilt public, to think fi^r ai 

moiwent of not coming to the eonclusion. 
winch the facts called for, accor<ling; lo the 
law by which they were sworn to decide upon 
the matter before Miemi* 

Gentlemen, the statute tjpon which tbis 
indictment proceeds, is to the foliowujg cflcct i 
— it states (and it slates most truly ),^ •* that 
divers opinions had been had before this 
time,** that is, the ?5th Edward $r6, ♦♦ in what 
case treason should be sai<)^ &nd in what not t 
the king, at the request of the Lords and of 
the Commons, hath made a declarulion in the 
manner as hereafter followeth, that is to say, 
wben a man doth compass ur imagine the 
death of our lord the king, or of our Udy his 
queen, or of their eldest son and heir ; or if a 
man do violate the king's companion, or the 
king*s eldest daughter^ unmarried, or the wife 
of the king's eldest son and heir ; or if a mtJi 
do levy war against our lord the kin^ in hb 
realm, or be adherent to t!ie king^s enemies 
in his realm, giving to them aid aud comfort 
in the realm or cbewhere, and thereof bd 
provahly attainted'' — by which words I under- 
stand be attainted by evidence, that clearly 
and forcibly satisfies the minds and con- 
sciences of those who are to try the fact— . 
** attainted of open deed by people of their 
condition,'*— then there is this, to which you 
wiU be bound to give your attention for the 
fake of the prisoner, as well as for the sake of 
the public, the interests of both being blendod 
in this great cause ; — ** and because tliat 
many other Itkc cases of tr€a*<m may happen 
in time to come, which a man cannot tWk 
Ti*ft derlare at this present time, it is accorded 
that, if any other case, supposed treason, 
which is not above specified, doth happen 
before any justices, the justices shall tarry 
without any goiug to judgment of the treason 
till the cause be showcil and declared before 
the king and his parhkiment, whether ii 
ought to ne judged treason, ur other felony," 

Uerntlemen, I desire to pt>ini ooi here, in 
the most marked way in which I i an state it, 
the anxiety, with which the parliament 
wihhed to preserve to itself the judgments Oi 
treasons, not being the sppcified treasons in 
the siaiule, hut being like treasons, those 
w^hiclu l»y a purity of nasomiig miiiht be said 
to he treason. They would nut trust the lub- 
ject'iof the coiuury in the hand of any court 
of justice upon that point 1 mark tlie cir- 
ctimstauce, because it appears to me lo give a 
degree of authority lo the law of England 
upon the subjecl of treason, and to the con- 
structions, which have been made upon it, 
and to the di^stlnctions, which have l^een made 
between like treason^, ;ind overt acts of the 
sam** Irrnson, that perh-p'- d^rs not belong 
to constructions and i adopted in 

the course t*l juduial , igs upon any 

other law in the statute-book. 
Gcntlcmeup having read the statute to you, 

^ See Mr. Et^klne*d defence of FwOy VoL 

d2, p. 413 of thiA CoUecUoo. 

it it not unimportant^ as it seems to me, to 
observe thtt Igrd little and Mr. Justice Foster, 
who have itatcd the judidaJ and other cxpo- 
iitionsofthis stjitute^ have stated tbeoi^ and 
have eipoundcd the itatute, under the 
weighty caution, which lliey roost powerfully 
express ; under the solemn protests, which 
tl^ey most fitrongly state, against extending 
' is statute by n parity of reason. This cir- 

imstance alone appears to me to give infi- 

te authenticity to the expositions, which 
_jey state of it, as sound, and as being such 
AS, according to the interpretition, which the 
legislature m Edward 3rd's time meant, 
should be put upon this statute. 

Gentlemen^ I think it may also save your 
time, and that of the Court, if I trouble you 
here by reading, before I state to you the ex- 
positions of the statute which lord Hale has 
giTen us, deducing them from judgments 
which had been actually made in the history 
of the country, the language which he holds, 
as describiujg tbe obligations, which courts of 
justice, ana men lookmg at this statute for 
the purpose uf executing it, are under, to con- 
itrue it according to the real specified mean* 
ing, not by a parity of construction as to the 
treason itself, when they came to construe it. 

Lord Hale states it thus : — ** Although the 
crime of high treason is the greatest crime 
against faith^ duty, and human society, and 
brings with it the greatest and most fatal 
dangers to the government, peace, and happi- 
ness of a kLngck>m or state, and therefore is 
deservedly branded with the highest igno- 
miny, and subjected to the greatest penalties 
tliat the law can inflict, yet by these instances'' 
—he is stating those that had occurred before 
the statute of Edward 3rd and between that 
and the first of Henry 4lh — " yet by these in- 
stances, and more of this kind that might be 
given, it appears — firsts how necessary it was 
that there should be some fixed antl settled 
boundary for lids great crime of treason, and 
of what great importance tbe statute of the 
25th of Edward 3rd. was in order to that 
end; secondly, how dangerous it is to depart 
from the letter of that sULute, and to multipfy 
and enhance crimes into treason by ambigu- 
ous and general words^ — oj accroaching af 
royal power, tubverting of JundamaHal taut, 
and tne like; and thirdly, how dangerous it 
IS by construction and analogy to make trea- 
sons» where the letter of the law has not done 
il^ for such a method admits of no hmits or 
bounds, but runs as far as the wit and inven- 
tion of accusers, and the odiousness and de- 
testation of persons accused, will carry 

In another passage, afler having given his 
eomment upon this statute — oiler bavin «; 
italcd what are the overt acts, which fall 
within tliu letter of it, and the sound inter- 
pretation of it, he says, " It has been tbe 

Conclusion of chapter 
"> Pleas of the Crown, 

II, part 1^ of 

c^eat wisdom and care of the parliament to 
keep judges within the bounds and express 
limits ot this act, and not to suffer them to 
run out upon their own opinions into con- 
structive treasons, tliough in cases that seem 
to have a parity of reason (tike taut ofUt^ 
ton), but reserves them to the decision of par- 
liament This is a great security as well as 
direction to judges, and a great safeguard even 
to this sacred act itself; and therefore, as be- 
fore I observed, in the chapter of levying 
of war, this clause of the statute leaves a 
weighty memento for jtidges to be careful 
that they be not over-hasty in letting in con- 
structive or interpretative treasons, not within 
the letter of the law, at least in such new 
cases as have not been formerly expressly re- 
solved, and settled by more than one preoe- 
dent." * 

Gentlemen of the jury, I am persuaded, as 
those were persuaded who conn uc ted the de- 
fence of lord George Gordon, that we live in 
days, in which the mdges of the country nei- 
ther have the inclination nor the courage to 
stretch the law beyond its limits* I mink 
myself bound to state that; and those, who 
dare to slate the contrary in any place, do not 
do the justice to the country, which is due 
from every individual in it. 

Gentlemen, having stated thus much ta j 
you, I now state, in order to be perfectly un 
derstood, that I do most distinctly disavoi 
making any charge of comimctivt treason j 
that I do most distinctly disavow stating * 
this indictment an^ Itke cam of trcaton no 
specified in the statute ; that I do most dii 
tmctly disavow stating any thing that can be 
called cumulative treason or anaiogout treason ; 
that I do most distinctly disavow enhancin 
anif thing, 6y a parity of reason^ into treatoi 
which i* fiot spectfted in that statute ; that I do" 
most distinctly disavow enhancing crimes ^ 
any kind, or a life tpent in crimet^ if you 
choose su to put it, into treason, if it be not 
treason specified in the ttaiute ; and the <^ues- 
tion between us I state distinctly to he tins — 
Whether the defendant is guilty of a treason 
tfecifitd in the ttatuie, and whether the evi- 
oence that is to be brought before you amounts 
to that proof, that will be satisfactory to your 
minds and consciences, your minds and con- 
sciences being prepared to admit no proof» 
but what you thmk you ousht to receive 

under the obligation o? an oatli, j ' " h 

enough thai he may be ^* provabl.. 1 

of open deed,'* of a treason specthea m tne 

Then, gentlemen, to state the charge to 
you :— The indictment charges the defendant 
with compassing and imagining the king's 
death, and witli having taken measures 10 
effectuate that LMiruoi-cr^ Now, that it may 1 
thoroughly un ,i>u will permit me 1 

state to you hr i i >crc is not only a i _ 

nifest distinctiou m reasoUi but a settled, dia* 

• Ilale*s Pleas of tbe Crown, part ]| cb. t^. 

Jhr High Treason, 

§00 in tlie course of judicial practice, set' 
1 for tio other cause but that it was a ma- 
st dbttactioQ id reason, between—*' like 
CttOi of treason/' constructive, analogous^ or 
«miiitive treaaons, and various overt acts 
•f Ifae ttcne treason. 
Gmtieniieay whether the acts laid as overt 
I of treafiOQ, specified in the statute, ami 
in the indictment, amount, in all 
iblrcircunistances, to an open deed, or deeds 
W which a person may be provably attainted 
01 the specined treason^ is the question which 
are to try* To explain myself upon 
'l take it to be clear, and I wiU not, in 
igQ of the business at least, ejitcr into 
■MtftNou of what I call the clear and 
I law of England, because I will not 
of high treason, any more thi&D I 
t in a dispute about the estate of any 
I who hears me, for the purpose of 
|MM| |M>tnts enter into discussions upon 
■I 1 Ukc to be the clear and €stLib]i<^hed 
f ikf England; and not only the security of 
i iuhjcct in this respect cannot, but the sc- 
r of the subject in no respect, in his ^ttv- 
lilr, <^>r his property, can be taken to 
•liil iiiitry, if I am not as fully au- 

I^Mlit' i^ to you, with a3 much confi- 

4nC9t what the law is, incase of treason, from 
\ deci*'ions, which for centuries have been 
" ! in courts respecting il^ as [ am to state 
M, ff^im decision:* of courts respecting 
~|lopeTty, what the law of property is. I say, 
1 Me it to be clear that deposing the king, 
tTttTl**|^ bt4} measures fur deposing the king» 
iai>lfin^ with foreigners and others to in- ! 
rlbc fcT ' 'nlno; to a foreign country 

not" the kingdom, or pro- | 
J Ui i^v ti.tic 10 that end, and taking I 
'•lejl io ortler llierctu— conspiring to raise 
ection, either to dethrone the king, 1 
the king, or oblige hmi to lUter h\% 
le^ ofL-ovKruinent^ or to compel him to 
lurs from him, are, and 
^ Mr. Justice Foster says, 
\ ik^il 111 mtent to do that trea> 

, whicli ued in the statute to be 

t «c1a ul tiCii^ii in compassing the k ing's 

: Jinary if these great 

Her holding the Ian- 

> ere to be rcpresenl- 

tiag themsclve.s un- 

" ' r that weighty 

I to those who 


J the words in 

have handed 

lite, who would 

I i4h vahied the 

rUt«Mi iUur iouulry, b^-lorc they would 

ebar^fnl**!* Itkf» rase of Ircuwiti** in an 

diclfliri,! , have concurred (^s 

I the jii< I have done, and the 

' Iruc- 

^ fact 

I lia> c ut;^il utjiiju 


uuit all 

A. b. 1794, [25* 

these things are overt acts of the same IriBa- 
soUy that is specified in the statute. What is 
the reason of it? because the law holds that 
he, who does an act, meaning to do it, which 
may endanger the kin^^'s life, compasses and 
imagines the death of the king, if he does ao 
act which may endanger his hie, if in the or- 
dinary course of things^ and according to the 
common experience of mankind, the measure 
which he takes, in pursuance of a purpose to 
take it, will bring the king to his grave. 

This therefore is not raising constmctive 
treason, it is not raising treason by analogy, 
it is not stating *' like cases of treason^* not 
specified in, but reserved by the statute to I 
judgment of parliament^ but it is stating ov4 
acts, which are measures taken in pursuant 
of treasonable purposes, which measures 
must necessardy be as various in their kinds, 
as the ways and means, by which, in facta 
and open decd^, taken in pursuance of its 
purposes, the human heart manifests its in- 
tent to commit some one or other of the trea- 
sons speci&ed in the statute. 

Gentlemen, the reserving clause in the act 
is extremely material; and, if courts and Ju- 
ries have done wrong in the manner in which 
they have executed this statute, if the inter- 
pretations, which they have made of the sta- 
tute, arc not right, they have done it against 
a prohibition in the statute, which they were 
called upon by their oaths duly to eirpound, 
and they have done it in the presence and 
under the eye of that parliament, which had 
expressly forbidden them to do it* I say the 
conclusion upon that i», tiiat they have done 
it rightly. 

Gentlemen, the judgments of the courts of 
law are in this country perfectly familiar to 
parliament. Acts have been made, over and 
over again, in order to bring back the cxpo«i- 
tions of the law to the true construction, to 
the letter, which is the true construction, in a 
sound judicial sense, to bring it back again 
to the statute of Edward lird ; but we have 
lived to this hour without parliament tliink- 
iog that they were to make so perfectly a dead 
letter of the'letter of the statute, as that they 
should say that an overt act, which expressed 
and imported the imagination of the mirul to 
do tlie treason specified, should not be taken 
to be an act of high treason witiiin the sta- 
tute ; because the statute only mentions the 
thing which is to be compassed and imagined, 
and does not mention the ways and meanS| 
by which the human heart may show and 
manifest that it does compass and imagine 
what the statute speaks of. 

Grnticmen, this is not all, because this is 
not only according to the law of England, a^ 
it is administered m covirts of justice, but als<) 
to the proceedings in parliament, which are a 
parliamenlary exposition, if I may so slate il, 
of the law. Proceedings iu parfiament fjavt 
been had, where the sFatutc has been thus 
construed, and where this disUnctton tliat I 
ans stating between overt acts of the specified 

ree ' 


treason and Ihe " like cases of treason,' * has 
been expressly take o, exprc««ily sictetl upon, 
proposed liy one huiKe uf the i " lo 

tlie other hun?***, m\t\ ruled upon ava 

IQ eiccuiing llie «*entciitea ut ttiat hr-m^c. 

Genllemea^ the disiinr.liori then is only ihia 
•-" a hke case of trP4Vj»>*' is a case of treason 
not spectiied \n the ?tt»lutc, a <;tseof the like 
luiscriiel. as a CK?,e i^pecilicd in the stnlnte; 
but the identicdl case specified in the .statute 
must be before yon, or, to avoid all dispute 
upon the subject, I say, if it be a case thnt is 
not specififid in the statute, it ii> a ca^c that 
must be shown to parliament acxording to the 
directions of the statule ; but that facts alike 
isi their nature^ that open deedt^ alike in their 
nature and tendency, however various in their 
circumstances^ muy prove the same intention 
to exist in the minds of those who do them, 
;ADd muy l^ measures, taken in pursuance of 
the same purpose, and to effectuate the same 
thing, )s a distmclion that appears to my mind 
to be perieclly obvious. 

Gcntktnen, 1 conceive, therefore, that the 
Question of compassing the king^s death is 
tiiis — ^wh ether ihc jury are fully satisikJ, 
eonscicntiwisiy satisfied, that they have tliat 
evidence, by which they find that the acts, 
laid as overt acta of compassing the parti- 
cular specified treason mentioned in the in- 
dicUnent, were measures taken in pursuance 
t^f and to effectuate that treason, specified at 
once in the sitatute and in the indictment. 

Gentlemen, I protest for myself I am sorry 
to trouble you thus much at large by general 
reasoning, but you will find Uiat it has an 
applicatiiin, and a close application, to the 
ease. This is an important public cause, and 
there/orc we should be thoroughly understood. 
I cannot understand what cmifiiruclive overt 
acts mean, though T do understand constructive 
treasons. Levying war agaiost the king, not 
aeaiuht hi^ pprson, but against liis royal majes- 
iclive treason; thatis,ifmenassem- 
l i-r without any intent to do an act, 

which in the natural consequence of things 
will affect the king's life, such as pulling down 
all prison* or houses of any other description, 
that is constructive treason^ it being, by con- 
struction, as Mr. Justice Foster says, against 
the king*s royal majesty, not levied against 
his person : not one ^d the acts of a more fla- 

Sitious kind, wilfully done or attempted to be 
one, by which the kin;z*s life may te in dan- 
ger, but which are levelled agiiinst his royal 
majesty; these have by construction been 
Ik- Id to bt* trcASon ; but fiven these the legis- 
lature h^iN ncvr r considered as not authoriied 


; these they have 

i" ' ' ' 

1 upon in the coun- 

uy &(> soMM 

r-. and constructions upon 

lh<* set fvt 1 

; many h:iv<» hfen r«»n- 

Y |, i, ,: 

,i; execution i' cd ; 


ii mer dnuUed law 


niitiUUS, But, 


of compa%m$: 

the indictment laYS the imagining andcom^ 
pasting a"* the oltence, the overt act is not 
constructive, the ^tep taken to effectuat'e it 
must be such an act, wiHully and deliberately 
done, as must satisfy the con*>cien< , V 

that there was an intention* by il 
otherwise, to put the kin - - c&, ui 

which, accordmp to the riencc 

of mankind, his life wouUi ir 

Gentlemen, I have before i u^ for 

another jinmovr vNTtiiii* urfv ^^, ^^ uvert 

act^ of t« ^h. I wifj 

repeat iLi ^ , ; him, — en- 

tering into measures to depose huu; — consplr^ 
ing to imprison him,**— which you obfcrve ia 
au act that may be done without an actu^ ia«- 
tent to put him to death,— a man may con* 
spire to imprison the king without an actual 
intent to put him to death, but you will fund 
the reason why that is held to bo compassing 
and imagining the death of th« ktng, witn 
the sanction of all times since this statute of 
Edward 3rd, and with the sanction of every 
species ofjudiciai authority, which the coun- 
try could give; ** to get his person into the 
power of conspirators." — Why is all this Xresr- 
sou } *^ Uecausc," says Mr. JusUcc Foster, 
^* the care, which the law bath taken for the 
personal s^afcty of the king, is not confined to 
actions or attempts of a more lUgitious ktnd, 
«uch ai attempts either to assassinate, nr lo 
poison, or other attempts, directly and imme- 
diately aiming at his life; it is extended to 
every thing, wilfully and deliberately done, or 
attempted, whereby his life may be endan* 
irered ; and therefore tlio entering inlu mea- 
sures for ' I or imprisoning him, or to 
get his [ the power of the conspi- 
rators, — tiitL>c uiiciiccs are overt acts of trea- 
son within this br&flch of the statute; for ex- 
perience hath shown that between the prisons 
and tht! graves of princes the distince is very 
small,"* and ei peri euce has not grown wca" 
upon thia subject in modern times; offem 
which are not so personal as those &lre 
mentioned, have been, with great proprie 
brought within the same rule, as having 
tendency, though not so immediate, to the 
same fatal end. 

Lord Hale, upon i" ^' r 

conspiracy be not : 

' , ' "' ' ui MIC K'ai^', tJll^ 111',; 

ng that in all p-i.hi 


kiKi iiiugiuiiig uic UL-aui u( ine kin^ whcic 



a thm^ as mr 
> prove tlic com jt... 
instance he gives, 
is this ; ** If men 
tinj: by force and a 
\irlikd to ccttain '' 

& dc<iUi. 
amo ia ui 

' t 


U n. 



* Foster's Crown L»w»i dboomaa 1> chip. 
1.«cct. 9. 

Jhr High Treason* 

Vich has been assigned 

r: •* for it is m ctfccl to 

"dtL^jM^ uim ol hts kingly jjuvcriimenl/** 

Thttr arc the words of JortJ Hafe ; mu} ilioticli 

1 ' 1 ird Hale iind Mi, 

t in words, tliey are 

lL V be said, with 

; a king of his 

, >the 
all Judi- 
th; *tt is 
<iy^ litauiHe il i!» a tempo- 
'jt his kingly government, 
r^io this inter i>reLation of the 
• s m dciith. 

<es not so personal as 
I wiihin Ihe s^ime rule, 
lency to llie same fatal end: 
«o1 ill war with you^ the of- 
'' " ^ r - , ounir)\ or pro* 
[ ny step thereto 

1 ^ i.^.^.i^..v.. , into tliis king- 

I uablc purpose, can only fall 

^ irVi i»r Treason of compassing 

* lie at war with you, 

t t.s to another species 

o( tz9saoity which is an ** adhering to the 
bog's rtremici f* and perhaps you will find 
tet I I have to slate is not withoyt 

peon . . J ce of this species of overt act. 

<<:n, having staled thus much to 
jgw, I proceed now to consider the indict- 
Btftti; lu^ what 1 have stated, before I men* 
tMned ihs sub&tance of the indictment, I 
liars itelcd to by in my ckim to full credit 
with yqa, when I aay, that no man Jiving 
eu with to express to you more strongly 
UiiQ t wifth to do (we have indeed, each of 
111^ ^ ,-r. %♦ nn ititfTe«t HI the truc construc- 
boci I- : . as any other man can have 

mil)* Uw of treason, in consider- 

ing tba charge, that I have brought before 
foa aukr the command that has authorized 
wm tP hm$ tl here, must not be extended one 
ittllr if^ttj beyond \rhnt is the cslabUshed 
law u tied as the law 

Ut V ny that you 

hmtg^i \ t ^ ou taay j^ive to whom you 

CScwii*! ' ijent, finding several 

MfMifMlMJ ; separately, though 

wdittr^* - 1 particular act, 

^tMtij , has tliarged 

f^it^ iind 

•li - : .,. vn to 

veil act to mii^ 

with jiMcling 

inl a 

-ft to 

Wbt; n]y a 

A. D. HM* 


hut to be held ft and in or^cr that the 

persons to be at tuch convttttion and 

meeting should and mighty wickedly ttnd (rai^ 
torotnli^, without and in drfiancc of" the fiutho' 
rit^^ and (tgaimt the »»// qf Ihe parliament of 
(hi* Hn^dofft^ f^ulroett itnd niter the (egtdature^ 
r«/f, and gtrrcrn/nrnt estahlisfifd in tt, and 4€* 
pose the king from (he rnyal itatef titles power ^ 
and gmurnrntnt thereof* 

It then charges ihtin with having com- 
posedf written, and published, and caused to 
be composed, written, an<l pubhshed, divers 
books, pamphlets, letters, instructions, reso- 
lutions, orders, dccbralions, addrest^es and 
writings, such hooks, pamphlclSj letters, in- 
structions, res43lutions, orders, declarations, ad- 
dresses and writings, so respectively composed, 
written, published, and caused to be composed^ 
written, and publis^hcil, purporlins; and contain- 
ing therein (among other things) incitements, 
encouragements, and exhortations, to move, 
induce* and persuade the subjects of Itjc king 
to choose, depute, and j^end personi*^, as dele- 
gates, to compo*^c, not a convention, but 
stCH a convention and raceling, that is^ a 
convention to ad in the manner that the first 
ot>€H act hat stated i/, to be holdtn/or the f rai- 
ioroui purpoics before mentioned. 

It then Estates,' as a thud overt act, consul- 
lations among them, how, when, and where, 
tuch convention and meeting should be as- 
sembled and held, and by what means the 
subjects of the king might be induced and 
moved to send persons as delegates to con- 
stitute it. 

Il then charges, that these persons did con* 
sent and agree, that Mr. Joyce and several 
other persons named, shojibf meet, confer, 
and cO'Operate among themselves and with 
other traitors, to cause the cahin|j( and assem- 
bling such convention and meeting for suck 
traitorous purposes. 

It then charges the providing of arms, of 
different descriptions, fur the^e purposes ; and 
then it charges a conspiracy lo make war in tho 
kingdom, and it charges a con spuacy to subvert 
ana alter the legislature and government of 
the kingdom, and to depose the king t that 
is, as I understand it, that, if you should not 
be satisfied that the calling such a convention, 
as is mentioned in the first part of the indict- 
mcntt was a mean to effectuate that com- 
passing and imagination y which is mentioned 
in the introduciury p;krt of the indictment. 
Yet vou will find in the cvidenct*, whiclj is to 
be laid before you, even if you pay no atten- 
tion lo that circumstiiicc of callinL; a conven- 
tion, sufficient evidence of a conf^jiruci/ to de- 
pute the king. 

It fhrn states acr^in, that they pyblished 
K'v r in Alters of the sara« 

kiii . about the traitorous 

J>urpo^LS la^i mcht^ntd ; and citargcs, as a 
arthrr overt act, provuliug arms for thai 

Now, gentiemen, havjim before stated to 
you, thai a conspiracy ladcpojetheking,— 




Trial of Thonat Hardy 


ami I have not slated it to you in my owii 
vortl'^, but ill the words of the authorities I 
nicnlioiu;*!, — ihsit a ronvpiracy to depose the 
kiiiLs thiit II < oiispiracy to imprison tlie iiiiip, 
a Ciiiisjiiriuy to procure an invu.tion, witli 
steps tiikcM \ii eHcctuale fucIi a conspiracy (a 
coiii-pi-.u> iinitrd itncirij«:iiig a step for tliat 
piirpo^'f J, is lie.ison ; yoii will observe that 
in thi.-s iii(ii( tnicnt, a conspiracy to depose the 
king i> t.yprr&^ly charged, and, 1 think, it 
will hf. (Unrly proved. If a conspiracy todc- 
pobC the kini; he an overt act of hiiih treason, 
permit me t^o a^^k yon, what can a conspi- 
racy to suIjnmI I ill; moiianliv of llir country, 
incliidiiii: hi it tli« dcpo^ilh^n (jf the kinu% he, 
but an overt .ut c,f liiLli tna^on r In the (»b- 
jcct of such a con-pir.u y the kinj; is nece*»'*a- 
rily involved, and it i- already shown 
conspiiin:! to depo>je him is compassing his 

Cientlemcn, read as yon are in the history 
of the countrv, i-ive \uv. I»a\«- lo ask you, \( 
measures had been taktn, aii<T the* devolu- 
tion, to cfli-ctuate a con>pir;icy to dethrone 
kinj; WiJIiiini, and to reMore king James 
^'itliout all donht, the measure taken, would 
Iiave constituted the crime of liij;h treason 
ivithin the clause of compassing the kinj^V 
death, althoui^h the conspirator^ could have 
been shown satisfurtorily to have no more 
meant the actual nutural death of kin;; 
AVilliam, than they mrant the actual natural 
death of king .hnnes, whom they intended to 
replace upon the throne— but what says the 
law to that ;- the law ^ays you cannot mean 
to depos«; the king without meaning to en- 
danger his lili-, and if you mean to endanuer 
his life you nni-jl abide theconsetpnnces ot^^it. 

Tut it another way — If the project had 
been to depose tlie same king William, and 
measure*^ had been tuken nj)on it — not with a 
view lo brintr back to the throne king James 
2d, but incniy to send back king William to 
his former ch.irartcr of I'rince of Orange, and 
not In reslnrf king James, but to restore a 
connnonwcdth, wliich is what, I think I 
sliall sili'-fv you, tho>e, who are charged by 
this iniliitnunl, meant by ** a full and fair 
repreH'nl.'.li.)n ol the p.euple," whether you 
call it *• a lull and fair repre.-entalion of the 
people in parliament," or do nuL u^e the words 
" in jiarlrnnent," can a lawyer be found to 
say, that it (oiild be stated in law, that it is 
not hiuli trea-on? I do not know what may 
not be >X'aU d- all that I mean to say at pre- 
sent is that a(C(»rding to the be>t lights 
"which I can L:rt of the law under which 1 have 
lived, it doc." not :.pj»ear to me lo be probable, 
that any man will so state it. I'ar be it from 
me, how<-v(T, to have the vanity to say that 
(avowiuLT that 1 should certainly not think of 
encountering the curn'nt authoiilies of the 
country for centuries) I am, without the pos- 
sibUity of contnuliction, slating that I am 
following the authorities of the' countrv for 
centuries ; l)ut 1 am ready to sav this, tnat I 
cannot conceive or imagine b)[ what species of 

wiling, or upon wEat priucipic, or upon 

what authority, il is to be contended, that 
this would not have been high treason. 

Gtntfemcn, take \\ another -wa^f— if the 
regicides of kinc Charles 1st had been tried 
for compassing the death of king Charles IsL 
supposing they had only deposeahim, instead 
of putting him to dcatii, could they have 
contended, that though they would have bees* 
guilty of high treason if they had placed an- 
other individual upon the tlirone (which would 
have been alike to the case I have put, of 
( ons|)iring to put James in the place of WU- 
liani), coidd they have contended then, that 
they were not guilty of high tieason, because 
iIkv deposed the king without substituting an- 
other king in his place; and because they left 
the government to be tilled up by the common- 
wealth, without a king ? 

(.Ii\e me leave lo ask another thing — sup- 
pose it had happened after king William came 
to the throne, that not lluise events, which 
did adually happen, took place, but that any 
set of men in tliis country should have ven- 
tured to meet in a convention of delegates 
from iithliated soci'-ties, tor the purpose of 
deposinij king William, under pretence of 
as>embhng a convention of the people, having, 
or claiming the civil and political authority of 
the country, and intending to have no kingm 
the country, would it have been possible in 
king William's time lo have contended, be- 
cause they met, under pretence of being a 
convention of the people, assuming to them- 
selves civil and political authorily, and with 
such meaning, that the conspiracy was not 
a* completely a compassing the death of 
king William, as if tlie conspiracy had been, by 
the same persons, in the case of afhliated soci- 
eties, forming the like convention of delcMtcs, 
to bring king James again to the throne? 

If I levy war hi this country against the 
khig, with intent to bring another upon the 
throne, I am guilty of high treason. If 1 levy 
war, that is an overt act of compassing the 
king's death. If f conspire to levy direct war 
that is a compassing ot the kin<^\s death, ui^ 
less all the branches of the legislature have 
put a man to death upon an error. If I hold 
a fortress * against the king lo put another 

* " Holding a castle or fort against the 
king or his tri»ops," says Mr. Kast, ** if actual 
force be used in order to keep possession, is 
levying war, but a bare detainer, as suppose^ 
by shutting the gates against the King or his 
tro<jps, without any other force from within, 
lord Hale conceiveth, (says Mr. Justice 
I'oster), will not amount to treason. The last- 
mentioned judge has not told us what degree 
of approbation he gives to this instance of a 
detainer, which, as he says, lord Hale con* 
ceives not to be within the statute. 

f To these words I find the following note 
by Mr. Hargrave, in his copy of £ast*s P.C. 
now in the libraiy of the British Museum: 
■* Note, that the supposed case conies fiom 
Fosleri not from Uale,'' 


Jw High Treason. 

A. D. 179k 


upon his throne, I am guilty of high treason. 
Am I guilty of noofi'eucc if £ do the &ainc acts 
not forthejpurpose of continuing the monarchy 
of the country in another person, but for -the 
purpose of destroying the monarchy altoge- 
ther? What is this but doing an act mvolving 
in it high treason, and more? High treason 
in deposing the king! more — in bringing 
about all that additional anarchy, which we 
knoWy which the experience of mankind 
proves to be consequent upon the cliange, 
where the change is not only of the persons 
vho administer the government, but of tlic 
government itself, if destruction can be called 

Gentlemen, to assert thercrore that mea- 
sures, taken for a total subversion of the mo- 
narchy of the country, including in it an in- 
teation to depose the king (mark the words, I 
state, including in it an intentioji to de^tose 

** It may be fairly questioned, whether 
there be not many instances of constructive 
levying of war far short of the real guilt and 
consequences of such an act, and much less 
within the true meaning ofthestat. 25 Kd. 
Srd? Lord Hale prefaces the passage in question 
thus: If B. either Jortifj/ his awn h(tuse, or 
the house of another^ with weapons thfcnsive 
or intasite, purposely to make head against 
the king, and to secure himself against the 
king's regal army or forces^ then that is a 
^trying rf tear againU the kin^. He then 
iTOcecds. But the bare detaining of the 
king's castles or ships seems no Ictying of 
rcr tcitkin this statute, Ath\ his lordship 
refers to a subsequent part of his work, where 
he grounds his reasoning solely^ on the stat. 
U fjiz. c. 1. having enacted the same thing§ 
during the queen's life. This, if it stood, 
alone would not be a concUinivc argument, as 
might be proved by many lyassage**, as well 

the kin!:\ are not overt acts of cninpassing 
the kinj;'s death, merely benni^'C llw >talntc 
of Kdward 3rd, lias liot included all overt 
acts in words, but as left to juries todctnrniine 
what are overt acts, by which they (an proba- 
bly attaint — to assert iliat the bUilute does not 
include the case, because it ir; coin passing the 
deatli of the king, «//(/ wore; iftliis were to 
be asserted in a court of justice (what is as- 
serted out of a court of justice no man pays 
much attention to), 1 should certainly say of 
it, that it was the assertion of those who had 
ill considered the law; and if ass(.Ttcd out of 
a court Oi' justice, and with a reterence to what 
is to be done in a court of justice, I should 
say it deserved to have an observation of a 
harsher kind made upon it. 

This indictment, besides charging a conspi- 
racy to depose the king, in express terms, of 
which I shall insist betore you there is abun- 
dant evidence, charges a conspiracy to cull a 

himself, with the same intent? lur the man- 
ner of pulling the first case suj>poscs that no 
resistance has been actually made. f)n the 
contrary, is not the latter case, put by lord 
Hale, as much at least within the na^on and 
contemplation of the stat. 'io Ed. 3rd, as the 
former one ? Is not the art of ibrtifying a 
private house, which may happen from caprice 
of a more equivocal nature in it^^elf than that 
of a governor of a fortress refusing to deliver 
it up to the king upon his sununons, and 
shutting the gates against him. A<imilting, 
that this latter is not conclusive evidence of a 
traitorous intent any more than the otiicr; 
yet surely it seems sutlicicnt to Ic.ivc to a 
jury. Jt is holding a castle af^mnst the 
king, which is as much an act tjf hostility, 
and a throwing oft' of the allegi luee due to 
of the ordinary preparali*.ns of 

hiin, as any 

-..g... .^^ , J J , -a-, - war are admitted to fall within the distription 

fts by the express declaration of the same of levyiiig war, though no act of lor'C has 
author. I5csides which, that statute was cer- been in fact exerted. In the caj»e of I'lc earl 

tainly creative of new treason; lor it makes 
iht wilful and malicious burnmgof the queen's 
ships treason, without any farther mialifica- 
tioo. But, most of ail, I fmd it dimcult to 
reconcile this opinion with the preceding part 
fS the passage which I have referred to; for, 
supposing a treasonable intent to exi'^t, what 
.^uiid distmction can there be belweena man'b 
fortitying his own or anotlicr's house, pur- 
posely to make head against the king, and to 
secure himself aguin>t the regal Ibrces 
{which is admitted to be an overt act of levy- 
ing war), and the ca^^e of one who detains the 
posrcssion of the kiii::*s own fortress against 

i " I do not so understand lord Hale.'* 
llarerave, ut sup. 

5 ** Not quite so ; I apprehend lord Hale 
j>uis the case of a hare detaining ; the sta- 
tute that of a c2e/ainin^' maliciously or rebclli- 
'Tvfy with force f and not rendering the same 
KkAm six days qfier proclamation,'^ Har- 

of Essex, it is even said, that keeping armed 
men against the king's command is a levying 
of war against him (but this mu^^l be uiider- 
stoofl, that the purpose for which thcv were 
armed was treasonable), whicli is a far less 
deci'-ive act of opposition than the ot'ser, nnd 
lord Hale himself, speaking; in .mother ]>huc 
of the stat '20. II. c 13, say-, th it iliat p..rt of 
it whereby tiie rebellious det.iiuin^ uf the 
kin;5'scastic*«, al'ter summons by proclamation 
is made hiij;li treason, seems to be l^^l^nn 
within the slat. •^.'), Kd. :{rd ; and both lord 
Hale and Toster, J. agree, thai if the bare de- 
tainer be done in cnntederacy with enesnios or 
rebel', that cireumstanee will niuKt ittrea>on, 
in the one case under the clause oi a«lhering 
to the kinz'*^ enemies, in the other iiiuKr that 
of Icvyini; war. The same rule applies to the 
delivery up of a ca**tle to rebels or enemies, 
by treachery, and in combination with ihem ; 
but not if it happened through cowardice or 
imprudence." 1 East's Tlcas of the Crown 
ch. 3, s. 14. 


leonvention againit the wilL in dijiance nf^ and 

^mnsiihe authority of parliafmnt^ for the pur- 

^ ou qfdtpovwg the king ; it charges farther acts* 

pamely, thut they caused to be composed and 

rritten divers books» pamphlcls, letters, in- 

uctions, resolutions, oraers, dcclarAtious, 

ddresses, and writings, containing incite- 

^toents, induccmcDls, and exhortalionfi, to 
move, seduce, and ^tersuade the subjects of 
ihe*4(in^ to send delegates to tuch canvention ; 
as to which 1 say ut many of them, though 
I did not know their real character till I had 
fieen them all together, that they arc both 

I0vcrt ajCtS| and evidence of overt acts of high 


Now» before I state to you the particulars 
Df the evidence, I am afraid I roust, however 
iinful it is to me to ask so ^reat a portion of 
^our attention, trovible you with some general 

[observation^ that I think will have a lenden- 

ley to render intelligible to you the complicate 

Ifd mass of evidence, which I have to lay be- 

fibre you. 

Gentlemen, the convention, meant to be 
called by those who are charged with the 
conspiracy in tbia indictment, was, as 1 coU 
lect from the effect of the evidence, a conven* 
tion of persons, who were to assume the cha- 
racter of a convention of the people, claiming, 
fkt such, all civil and political authority, pro- 
posing to exercise it by altering the govern- 
ment, otherwise than by acts of the present 
constituted legisbture, otherwise than by 
those statiites, according to which the king 

I has sworn at the hazard of his life to govern. 
Gentlemen, if tliis Is made out, it appears 

J fo me to follow necessarily on the part of all 

|/|ivho took a step to assemble it, that they are 

fuilty of a conspiracy to depose the king, to 
^ epose him from the character which he hohls 
\ in the constitution of the sovereign power of 
[this kinedora, as by law established, that law 
I l>y which I again repeat to you, he is iwora 
f to govern* 

uentlcmen, if thay conspired to assemble 
j ina conveniion, which was of its own autho- 
rity, and against the will of the legislature, 
»nd in defiance of it, to act as an assembly to 
i iabtitule a government, and to assume' so 
iar sovereign power, it is, I conceive, accorrl- 
ing to the law of England, a conspiracy to de- 
> pose from the sovereignty hira, who under 
' the restraints of the constitution and the law, 
flow holds thut sovereignty. There cannot 
be two sovereign powers xn a state; there may 
lie a compi legation of authorities vested in a 
great variety of persons, making up one sove- 
r 'V iiinot be two sovereign 

^ ]"jssib|e. If a meeting 

1 1 uion of the people, arro- 
|n s all civil and political au- 

til. -. ...i meaning to <t}i^crctse it, 

i)nc or other ot these consequences must fui- 

iha Vmi iilxl iJh; [niriLniuTit inuvf l.r 

Trial of Tliomiti Nard^ 


be obedient to the king and parliament, if 
cannot effect its purposes ; it is impossible : If 
its purpose be to depose tlie king, 1 say, a 
conspiracy to call such a meeting is an overt 
act of high treason* 

Gentlemen, 1 beg your attention to my ex- 
pressions : if the meeting; means to oblige tlie 
king and parliament to be obedient to them 
by the exertion of open force, though it may 
not effect its purpose, that makes no difference, 
the law must be the same^ — I may be ivrong 
perhaps in stating the law, but it appears to 
me that the law must be the same if the 
meeting projects the purpose, whether the 
force ofthe meeting is sumcicnt to effect the 
purpose or not. 

This, I say, is a conspiracy to assume Ih© 
sovereign power: it is a conspiracy therefore 
of necessity meant to depose the existing 
power, and of necessity to depose the king* 
I say meant to dei>ose; for 1 repeat it, that 
whether the conspiracy is auccessfui or not| b 

Gentlemen, though the particular fact of 
calling such a convention, now alleged as an 
overt act of treason, may be represented to bo 
new in the history of this country, it is not 
therefore, and because it is new oi i ' i:h 

as it is more than ordinarily audu m 

overt act of compassing the death ur ut posi- 
tion of the kiuL!;, if the intent of it was to&ub- 
vert the sovcrciEn rulinjj power. 

Gentlemen, there is another distinction, to 
which I would beg your attention. It is of 
no c(jnse«]u*Micc whether the first rneetfngi 
proposed to be assembled, wot dt signed to be a 
I'onvention^ thai should assume all civtl and po- 
ltlicaluuthoritif,ot was onlt^ to devise the meunM 
of forming a constituent assemhlif^ a bod^ whick 
should assmne it ; for any act* taken towaids i 
assuming it against the will, in defiance 
and against the authority ofthe king and , 
Uament, and removing him from that ii 
tion in the character of sovereign, wHtdi ho 
has in this country; any act takeQ towards 
the formation of a body, which was toas&ume 
such authority, is an act of conspiring the 
deposition of the king : any act towards coi^ 
veninga national assembly, to art uitK >o. 
vereign power, not formed by li iie, 

is an act done towards deposmg ' ^, who 

now has, under the restraints of the constitu- 
tion, and the provisions and limitations of llie 
law, the sovereign power vested in him. You 
cannot set about organizing a body, which is 
thus to act, without meaning to depo^ the 
king, without meaning to form a bony that is 
to usurp the powers ol government. 

Gentlemen, I think the evidence, lliat I 
shall lay before you, will most abundantly 
satisfy you that tlie convention, which Uie 
persons ch"ir'.""^ f v-'"-^-' tr +■ -'i ■rasarorj- 
vcntiun to : ,ic *ovc 


Ti'l^n tJiiWi r 

^•^ to 

the kiti^ aiid p^iU^UAtUii i It iUo meclu)^ la tu I founded u|*gu umvetaiii 9uiinife| vaiX the ai« 

"' ••^'" 

leged unalienable, and, as tliey arc called, ini- 

prescriplibie rights of man, all the legUlatkc 
amd eiccvtive goremntcnt of the ctmntrj/ ; that 
» con*uirai \ tu ibis end would be an overt act 
of hijgh ireiison, I prCMime cannot be disput- 
ed ; It tlejiuf^es the king in the de&truclion of 
the r* ipil aliice in the constitution of tlie 

Gentlemen, I go farther i if it had been in- 
tended la have retained the name and office 
of the kitig in the tounlrv, and to have re- 
tained It itj the person of* the present king, 
creatint^, however, b}- the anlhority of the in- 
tended 'ctinvtniiijn. a new kaislatnre, to act 
iwith him, provided ihey would allow him to 
act with such new legist,iture,and thus calling 
upon him to act against the express obliga- 
tions ol his coTrmalioo oath, if he could forget 
it, it *jiill would have been a conspiracy to 
depose him from his royal aulhorily, as now 
cftlablished: It he refused to act, he inusl ne- 
cessarily be deixjsed from that authority ; if he 
did accept, he wus not the king of England, 
as he is e<^tablished by law the king of Eng- 
land. But he could not accept; he could not 
so govern ; he i*» sworn not so to govern; he 
must refuse, must resisit, and, in consequence 
of resisting* his life must be in danger. 

Take it eUhcr way, that per*^ons conspired 
to form a convention to assume all civil and 
political authority, as pretending to be a con- 
vention of the people (I care not with how 
rnuch a*Kbctty they pretend to he a conven- 
tion of the people), or to devise the means of 
constituting suth a convention, in order, and 
v/ith the intent, and against ihe authority of 
parhamcnt, that there should be no king, or 
m order to the erecting, by their own autho- 
rity, a new legislature to act together with a 
king, and together with the king, if they per- 
mitted the preterit to be the king^ I submit 
that such a conspiracy is an overt act in the 
true constniclion of law, and high treason in 
compassing the king's death, 1 lie king must 
be deposecT while such a new constitution was 
iraming j he could not treat with such a con- 
tention till he had been deposed ; it could be 
those only, that had sovereign authority, that 
could frnmc a constitution: "then he is surely, 
by this, despoiled of his kingly government, 
rcvcn as in a case, of temporary miprisonment. 
I repeat again, that he coy Id not, consistently 
Irith ivis coronation oath, do otherwise than 
reject it when framed: it must be taken for 
granted he would reject it; his Ufe, therefore, 
could not but be in danger. To suppose that 
^ mch a meeting, which proposed a new con- 
ititution^ would depart quietly home, and not 
l/Cty if it was not accepted, is* out of the reach 
of ill human credulity ; it is not according to 
the ordinary course and experience of man- 
ikindy to suppose that they should meet in 
[ iftumbcrs, and make no use of their numbers, 
I if the show of them did not produce the effect 
\ intended : this is not according to the ordinary 
course and experience of mankind. . 
Gentlemen, the king ia bi5 parliaiucDt 

could not be the sovereign power the moment 
the meeting coidd act as a national consti- 
tuting assetnbly, or could direct, with effeci, 
such an assembiy to meet. Tlie power so to 
act, or to organize with effect such a mccling 
that should so act, must pro tempore depose 
every other power. This is the character of 
a convention of the people, I think, as given 
in the evidence I have to lay before jott. 
With respect to the defendant, I think I shall 
satisfy you he conspired to call such a conven* 
tion ; and that he said that the convention, 
which I am to call, is inesislible, it ia 
unlimited, it is uncontrollable, and that bjr 
such a convention, my/w// andfuir represen- 
tation of the people^ or a full and fair repr^ 
lentalhn in paf/trimenl (if you choose to take 
that expression, for it Is not mere expression 
that determines what men mean), is to be 

Gentlemen, in the country in which I am 
speaking, when a vacant throne was Eiveo (I 
am now alluding to the time of kingWiltian^ 
by those, who, as they are stated m the Bill 
of Rights, represented alt the estates of the 
people of this realm, to king William and 
queen INfary, they, who gave It, ceased to 
have or to exercise the power of sovereignty : 
in that instant, as every lawyer must speak of 
it, in that instant the sovereign power of this 
country became vested in the king and qticcm 
upon tlie throne, to be exercised in legislation, 
undoubtedly, with the advice and consent of 
parliament, formed according to the law and 
custom of the country — incapable of being 
exercised otherwise, and, as to the executive 
authority, exercised under the control of pro- 
visions and limitatioi^s of the law and consti- 
tution, and with the advice which, in every 
act which the king does, makes somebody 

1 insist that the design of conspiring to 
as scumble the people, who were to act as a 
convention of Ihe people, claiming all civil 
and political authority, or claiming power to 
alter, against its will, ihe constituted legisla* 
ture, or a meeting to form the means of bring- 
ing together such a convention so to act, is an 
attempt to create a power subversive of the 
authority of the kin^ and parliament, a power, 
which he is bound by oath to resist at all 
hazards. But it will not rest here : this will 
be sufhciently proved ; but evidence will like- 
wise be offcreu to you as satisfactory to prove 
that the express object of calling this conven- 
tion, the express object of appointing a com- 
mitte of conference and co-operation, which 
was to devise the means of constituting such 
a convention, was ultimately, and finally, 
and in their prospect, the deposUion of the 

Gentlemen, beyond this, and supposing it 
not to be proved, tlie indictment has charged 
as overt acts, a conspiracy, without the mean 
of a convention, and not through that 
medium, to depose the king ; if that conspi- 
racy is made oat by olhet aA^Mbssv^^^^^^asx 

'^' »^^-^ 



Trial of Thomas Hardif 


a convention, assuming all political authority, 
nor a meeting to devise the means of callinjg 
a convention, which should assume all politi- 
cal authoritv, was intended^ yet the indict- 
ment is made good. 

Gentlemen, the indictment farther charges 
as an overt act of compassing the king's 
death, which without question it is, the con- 
spiracy to levy war; I do not mean con- 
structive war. This I state, without question, 
to be an overt act of compassing the king's 
death. A rising to oblige the king to aher his 
measures of government amounts to levying 
war within the statute. A conspiracy to levy 
war for this purpose is an overt act of com- 
passing the king's death. If they conspired 
to form a representative government, excluding 
the king entirely, which I say is the fact, or, 
if they conspired not to form a representative 
government* excluding the king entirely, but 
yet to compel him^ by their own strength and 
force, to govern with others, and without 
those, whicn he chose to remain with him, by 
whose advice and consent alone he is sworn j 
and bound to govern, I mean the great 
council of the nation, the Lords in Parliam.ent 
•ssembledy the Commons in Parliament as- 
fr .ip Mf t( 1y according to the constitution of the 
eountry, and to substitute against his will, 
and a^inst the will of the present constituted 
authority of the country another authority, 
formed on the principles of universal suflVage 
and annual representation, and so formed 
without the authority of parliament, X must 
submit to the court, and to you, that conspir- 
ing to do this would be an overt act of treason 
of deposing the king, and therefore of com- 
passing his death. 

Gentlemen, you will also observe the 
indictment has charged, and proof will be 
offered to you to make it out, that these 
objects were meant to be carried by force, by 
actual force. 

Gentlemen, the case, as I have hitherto 
represented it, is not a case aiming merely at 
intimidating the legislature, and inducing it 
by an act done, which was, according to the 
forms of the constitution, to bury the consti- 
tution in its grave, to new-mould the sovereign 
power ; the case goes far beyond this ; appli- 
cation in any shape to parliament was not 
only disavowed, but the very competency of 
parliament, if applied to, to make a law to 
new- model the government, was disputed, 
and denied ; the idea of that competency was 
held to be irreconcilable to the very principle 
upon which these persons assembled. I 
must however insist, and I mean to do it, with 
the full concurrence of my humble opinion, 
that a conspiracy to compel the king, by force, 
against his will, to give his assent to an act 
obtained from the iTouses of Parliament in 
order to alter the government andfirame of 
the constitution of the country, whether it 
was obtuned from the two Houses of Parlia- 
menty or either of them, by overawing them, 
or not overawing theov— thai a conspsacy, 

by force, to compel the king, in the exercise 
of the highest and most essential act of the 
sovereignty of this country, in the act of giving 
his consent to such an act,— to compel him, 
by force, to do that, is unquestionably an 
overt act of treason in deposing him, and in 
compassing his death. It is neither more nor 
less, to explain it in a word, than to substitute 
the will ot tlwse, who conspired to force him, 
in the room of that royal will, in which, and 
by which alone, the iaws of this country, and 
the constitution of this country, have said 
that a bill ^however obtained before it comes 
to him) shall receive the authority of a statute. 
Gentlemen, I have thought it necessary to 
state thus much before I come to state the 
circumstances of the case, and I will' state to 
you in a word why. It is not to be expected 
by persons, who execute the great and impor- 
tant duty in the great and important station, 
the functions of which you are now called 
upon to execute, that council at the bar shall 
be able to state to 3'ou law, that no man can 
question the soimdness of: nay, gentlemen, it 
is not to be expected by you that counsel at 
the bar should be able to state to you in all 
cases law, which men of grave character, and 
excellent understandings, of great reason, and 
great experience in their profession, may not 
dispute tne soundness of It is the duty of 
counsel, more particularly it is the duty of 
that counsel, who ought to remember that, if, 
in nrosecutine the subject, he presses him 
unfairly, he betrays in the most essential 
point the duty which he owes to the sove« 
rci^n : it is his duty to endeavour faithfully 
and honestly to explain and expound the law, 
that is, to apply to the facts of the particular 
case, reasoning upon the law, accormng as he 
is able to do it, in the exercise of painful 
industry, exerted under the. reflection that he 
is under much obligation at least to endeavour 
to represent the law truly. 

Ocntlemcn, I have thought it my duty, in 
a prosecution, the principles of which interest 
the civil happiness of all mankind, to mention 
distinctly and fairly what are j^the principles 
upon which I proceed; I have n(» doubt in 
my own mind, but that I have stated these 
doctrines as the law of England would state 
them, and; I claim from you and from the 
public that, in the fair exercise of my duty, 
conducted under such a sense and understand- 
ing of that duty, as I have now explained to 
you, you and they will do me the credit at 
least to think, that the principles which I 
have stated are such as I believe to be sanc- 
tioned by the law of England. 

Gentlemen, I shall presume for a moment, 
after having read to you the indictment, and 
given you that exposition of it, which I 
numbly offer to your attention, that the law 
has ^at least, according to my judgment, it 
certainly has) been compliecf with in this 
respect; namely, the indictment lias told you 
witn sufficient certainty what it is, that is 
meant to be imputed aa an overt act of com* 


Jot High Treason* 

passing the king's death. It is not necessary 
to be disputing that now, because, if I have 
foiled in the due execution of m^ duty in that 
respect, the prisoner cannot be nijured by it. 

(ientlemen, 1 have before said to you, 
that, in a case of high treason, tb.c evidence 
must nut only be convincing, hut it must be 
formal ; and, though the object of the security 
of the person and government of the king is 
the highebt object that the law has looked to, 
yet 1 must, at the same time, inform you, 
that the law for the security of the public, 
which is iu truth part of the object involved 
in the ot'fcct of the security of the person and 
govcmmcnl of the kin"; — is csseutially united 
with it— and inseparable from it: the law has 
required not only that you shall have one 
witness, if he were the most credible man in 
the world, to give convincing evidence of the 
fatty but that that convincin^^ evidence must 
be rendered yet more conclusive by the testi- 
mony of two witnesses ; that you should at 
least have one witness to one overt act, and 
tsothcr to another overt act of the same 
kpecies of treason. 

Gentlemen, having stated to you the pro- 
ject, in a general way. to which I apprehend 
this indictment applies, I presume that you 
may possibly reason thus : When this incfict- 
ment charges, that these persons compassed 
the death of the king, and to depose him, — 
that they conspired to assemble a convention 
in defiance of the authority of parliament, — 
to subvert the rule and government of the 
kingdom, against the will and in defiance of 
the legislature, — to dethrone the monarch, 
reigning in the hearts of a great majority of 
his people, you will naturally ask,— by what 
process was it, that such persons as these 
could cffcctiKite such a purpose ? When the 
indictment charges, that they composed a 
great variety of books, containing incitements 
to choose persons, as delegates, to compose a 
convention for such traitorous purposes, — in 
what language, you will naturally ask, could 
such incitements to such a momentous project, 
have been conveyed, and to whom could that 
language have been addressed? When it 
charges, that they met, and deliberated 
among themselves, together with divers other 
falM; traitors, — at what time, in what manner, 
and in what place, it may be asked, have 
these )Mwplc met to deliberate upon that pro- 
ject, for the accomplishment of which so many 
persons must be engaged? — By what means 
were they to bring together the subjects of 
the country, to bend delegates to such a 
traitorous convention, to assume such sove- 
reign power? This sort of question may be 
purbued. I shall not pursue it by observa- 
tions upon every overt act in this indictment. 

Now, gentlemen, my answer to this is a 
short one. I think it will be proved to your 
satisfaction, tliat, as tliey meant, in the 
words of the act of parliament, to introduce 
that svstem of misery and anarchy, which 
prtviifed 'm France, they meant to introduce 

A. D. 1794. [27if 

it by the same means,— to proceed upon the 
same principles to the same end, — ana by tiie 
same acts to execute the same purposes. 

Gentlemen, if the experience of Europe had 
not manifested what has passed in France 
(and this project might perhaps be brought 
from France into Great Britain by but an m- 
dividual or two), if that experience had not 
shown us what has passed in France, to the 
destruction of its old government— to the de- 
struction alike of that government which ; 
they substituted in the room of its old go- \ 
vernment— and which, in the last act of its | 
power, protested against I he existence of ^ 
clubs, as incompatible with the security of I 
any country, I say, till the subversion of go- ? 
vernment iu France took place, and upon \ 
principles, to a blind admiration of which xq j 
this country, — a country which, under the pe» f 
cuHar favour of Providence, is alike in its ' 
blessings, as it is in its situation, ** toto divisot '. 
orbe Britannoit,^' we have found a disposition 
to sacrifice all those blessings — it could not ; 
perhaps have entered into the heart of man ■ 
to conceive, that a project so extensive should < 
have been set on loot by persons in nrnnber : 
so few ; — that a project, existing almost every i 
where, should yet be visible no where; — that 
a project should be so deeply combined, and 
complicated, — should exist to such an aiOMnt 
inconceivable extent, — should be formed with 
so much political crafl — it could not enter 
into the heart of man to conceive, that it 
should have existed in any country, much 
less, that it was possible that it should exist 
in this country ot Great Britain to the extent 
in which I am sure, whatever your verdict 
may say upon the guilt of the prisoner, you 
will be satisfied it has existed in tliis country. 

But the law of England does not require 
that any such case as this should be proved 
before you. If you arc satisfied tliat what 
the indictment charges was imagined, and 
that a step was taken to efiectuate that 
intent, it is enough — it is not the extent, in 
which the project was proceeded upon — it is 
not the extent to which tlie project was 
ruinous —it is not necessary to prove, that the 
means were as competent to the end pro- 
posed, as they were thought to be, by those 
who used them. No, gentlemen, the provi- 
dence of the law steps in upon their first mo- 
tion, whether they furnibh themselves with 
means adequate or inadequate to their pur- 
poses— the law steps in then, conceiving its 
providence at that moment to be necessary 
for the safety of the kin^ and the security of 
the subject. 

The project, the general character of which 
I shall give you, proving it by the particular 
facts, and applying the particular facts (for I 
have no rignt to give you the general project, 
unless 1 can so apply the particular tacts) to 
the person now accused, seems to me to have 
been this. Imported from France in the 
latter end of the year 1791 or 1793, by whom 
brought hither it does not much matter, the 

inlent was to constitute in London, witli 
affiiiate*! societies in the country, clubs which 
were to govern this country upon the princi- 
ples of the French government, the alleged 
uoalieDabler imprescriptible rii^hts of man, 
such, as they are stated to he, luconsistcnt in 
the very nature of them with the being of a 
king or of lords in a government — deposing, 
Iherefore, the moment they come into cxeru- 
lion, in llic act of creating a sovereiu;n power, 
cither mediately or immediately, the king, 
and introducing a republican government 
with a right of eternal reform, and therefore 
MPilh a prospect of eternal revolution. 

Gentlemen, we have all heard of a club 
called the Jacobin Chjb al Paris. Thi!», with 
its affiliated socielies,— -however impossible tt 
liras thought that it should effect such things, 
—however wild the man would have been 
thought, into whose head ii^uch an imagina> 
tiott could have entered as that it could effect 
them» first overset the old constitution, then 
introducct! another, which could not exist 
upon the principles which gave it birth, and 
has finally introduced government afler go- 
vernment, till it has at last left the country 
in that nndescribable state of things in which 
we now see it. 

Gentlemen, the great end of the persons 
coDcerocd in this project, though not alto- 
gether visible, or not much disclosed upon its 
first formation, was, when they had suih- 
ciently diffused their principles through tins 
country, bv artifice, — by union,— by combi- 
DaUon, — by aOiliation, — by fraternization 
(those who formed the project, whoever they 
were, endeavouring to force it into execution 
by means which perhaps would shock the 
minds of men that are not always dwelUng 
upon political subjects), to assemble a con- 
vention of delegates from clubs, to assume 
the power of the people, supported in the 
assumption and exercisjc of that power by 
the individual members of the aflSliated so- 
cieties, and by their combined strength. 

Gentlemen, we have no occasion in this 
cause to be disputing upon abstract questions, 
MS to the power of the people to change their 
[ ^vcrnment. I state to you, that the iuten- 
I lion was, to assemble a convention of dele- 
I gates from those clubs^ to assume the powers 
I of govcrnmeot. The people, the infinite ma- 
jority of the people adverse to any change, 
jj;„^„_..: I :^^ i t,.-,v ti »- -- \j^ the admi- 

t lid vices in tlie 

an^Jently attached to the oM 
must have bern averse to have i . ,_.,,_. 
by a convoiilion of the delegates from these 
suciciics, wlio meant to have ai^umcd tlic re- 
r J of the people, and to have cxcr- 

VI powers which they stated to be in- 

hoft;iat iu il)OM whum tliey piofcs^d to re- 

bow jviii/c>uiii h^^i^u iiiai uit ojiuuc/a ut.ihue 

Trial i/ Thomas Jlardif 

fraternizing societies should have the force of 
the will of a majority of the nation, though 
they constituted a vast and infinite unnonty 
indeed. You will find, in the evidciKe to be 
laid before vou, th»t it was j^erfee tJy under* 
stood how this might be l>y those who are 
named in this indiduient. The ^reat bulk of 
the community, cngic;ed in diftt'ieut puriuils^ 
are therefore iacapahie of being comlnncd ia 
opfioMtion to ihe execution of a purpose, 
which is to be brought abuutby great bodies 
of men, thai are combine<). I need not give 
you a J I rouge r instance of it than thi%: — Ii is 
within the memory of rnost of us hving, that 
a few thousand men in St. GcorijeV fields, 
combined in one purpose, reduced this metro* 
pohs to an absolute state of anarchy, a state 
m which no government exi'-ted * If any 
man had been a-sked, a fortnight before the 
event to which 1 am now alluding, Is it pos* 
sible for four or five tliou<§and men to assem- 
ble in 8t. George's iietds, and to rob and 
plunder every bo<ly they choose in London 
and ten miles round it? That would have 
been thought utterly impossible — but yet it 
happened — why ? because a combination of 
the few will subdue the m^inv, who are not 
combmed, and with great facility; and com- 
bined bodies of men have had, as you w^dl 
find, an existence in this country, to an ex- 
tent which few men had any idea of 

You will find them or^nized, — prepared 
for emergencies and exigencies, — relymg upon , y 
their own strength, — determined to'acl upofi y 
tlieir combined strength, in a system of act- 
ing together, — in some instances acting with 
a secrecy calculated to elude observation— in 
other instances, proceeding, by directly con- 
trary means, to tne same end^ "representing 
their numbers as greater than \4*ey were, and 
therefore increasing their number by the very 
operation of the uiHuence of the appearance 
of strength upon the minds of others, without 
a possibility that tliat misrepresentation should 
be set right. You will find them inffaming 
the ignorant, under pretence of enlightening 
Ihem ; — debaoching their principle^ tou-ards 
their country, under pretence of 1 1 >- 

hticat knowledge into them ; — tj^ 

tliemsclves principally to those whobc ngiitf^ 
whose interests are, in the eye of the law nod 
constihition of England, as v' ' s© 

of any men, but whose cdn •! 

enable them immediately tu ^'- 

twcen poUticai truth and th* v- 

tions held out to themi — v -e 

passions of men, whom 1 ^l 

placed in the lower, butu^Li,.., iy 

resptttiible situations of life, ton a 

against all u-liom ii^ I'^iunlv luM ' ■/ 

aa&igiiin *- 

pertv,— r -V 

as their ^ ihoAo 

whom 111 .—and. 

* See the caso of lord George Gardoo for 
bi^ U6a50% AMi^t V'oL 21| p. 495. 



Jbr ¥ligh TreasorL 

ia Oider, at the same time, to shut out the 
pO«t!)Dtty of forrcf ting original errori or rec- 
tif^ those whom they had 

i^ incd) debauched, and 

them into these afH- 
^ had subscribed tests — 
! thi*y were not to exa- 
liccn admitted^ hut the 
&ti|jii.> «-j) ^viiuti they were to carry into 
ilwtci^ wheu Hssembied in a convention — 
into execution those principles, as 
for the people, by a grciit majority of 
1 ihey were held in utlcr detestation. 
CenllefDro, to say that an act done was 
MciBt to be done as a mean^ taken in the 
fMCmioD of ftuch a project as this is, till the 
DQ« ivbo tikes it, thinks the scheme prac- 
Me, I ttdmit is not reason^ible, hut un- 
bl^ly he may ihhik it praclicablc long 
. L»aily so. Now, you will be abun- 
rd, that these conspirators thought 
i> now come — thsit the time 
which had been the object 
ij^iuii- tr\j'«'i^iiitiun, douhting tor a year or 
whether it would ever be gratified, that 
time wan n<m come, and the measures 
werf taken upon that supposition — 
jli tiif- Mifptjrtunity had arrived, which, if 

I ot now, would be lost for ever* 
TCj n, the people of this country have 

Id gcDcfBl a rooted attachment to its govern- 
mtmt, Tiie public opinion of government is 
in Hot country, as well as in every other, its 
fliidffti S4ipport : and therefore it became 
meecmmMj to infuse, where so much could be 
mStilY lii^ested, where the mind was pre- 
wed for It, an opinion, thut the form of the 
Priliih gciTernment w<i5 mdically vicious — 
"* it i»m& ' '' rn principles of oppress 
nleJ on the destruction 
-uiPj'Ubtc, and unahenable 
hers, you will find, ihey 
irv io use a little more cau- 
lu, but to humour their 
ni of the constitution, 
of wcll'meaning igjno* 
uf instructing it, to en- 
L al 1 the project of de*troy- 

»i. s^t which they were aV 

To Ui^uii, ihcrcfure, the torm of the 
I wAt not spoken of in terms which 
; I >t to be a conde unation 

pi .e rCiiDy such, hut by 

r il expressions, such as 

I lair representation of 
mt pf*>r'' ' ' 1 1 1" — " a tul I represeu la- 

Utib %tf imclimes willu»ul nien» 

lir»« nf vf r with actual mention 

tit I cxistin;* together 

%, ; U'rms, which cer- 

to t It muy be contended 

m ' ! mesin ; but terms the 

^■0 1 inly the same 

^f%et' were used in 

►untry during 

Jh, when we 

uuLicT nao ivitig im Ujisxa; tl^uil may sig- 

U D. 1794. 


llHI--IM»t tu 

tnecL uimIc i 

nify a g:ovemmcnt existing without Lords < _ 
King, by declaring the obtaining such a re*1 
presentation of the people as necessary to the \ 
natural, unalienable, imprescriptible riglits of 1 
inan, as stated by Mr. Paine: by these means^l 
and artifices, they attempted to engage ia f 
their service the physical strength of men.l 
who might not and did not discover the real j] 
nature of the plan, which that strength was 3 
to be employed in execuling; who had not] 
information enough to discover what the re* 
presentation was metint liniilly to do or la 
execute. But you will find the persons men* 
tioned in this indictment had no doubt about] 
it. I mark these circumstances to ^'ou, 
cause, in the evidence that is to be laid befon 
you (and I am now Btating the general cha« 
racter of the evidence, ananot the principle 
upon which the charge is made), in the cvi-^ 
dence to be laid before you of the plan for the 
execution of these purposes, some very re 
markable particulars occur; and when vou 
come to decide upon this case, 1 humbly beg 
your attention to those particulars; some very 
remarkable particulars will occur. 

You wilt find that the leading clubs, hfi 
which I mean the Constitutional Society^^ 
judging of its conduct for the purpose of thi9^ 
cause, though in some other cases we must! 
go farther back, but, for the purpose of thiM 
cause, judging of its conduct from about thef 
beginnmg of the year 1792, and the Londo»^ 
Corresponding Society, which was formed, f 
whether created, I will not say, but whichj 
was modelled by some leading members of 
the Constitutional Society, and received its( 
corporate existence, if I may use the lerm,^ 
as it will be proved, under their own hand* ' 
writing; most distinctly from the hand- 5 
writing of some, who yet belong, and some, J 
who have ceased to belong to the t'onstitu-l 
tionai Society ; these leading societies, you] 
Will find, enlisting into their afliliation many J 
societies in the country, composed of raen^ 
who expressed their doubts as to the views of 
these societies in London; who e^cpressed) 
their fears as \vell as their doubts about thosa 
views; who required information as to thei 
purposes of tho!>e societies in London ; soma I 
of these societies in the country profcssingi 
one set of principles, some another; but aJgi 
assistance is taken that is offered : accordindjf J 
you will see, that the London societies enliatf 
persons who profess, " that thcv ought to " 
sulimit to no power but whiit they have them- 
selves immedidtely cnnstilutcd :" to Ihesa 
they give answers, couched hj dark, cautious, 1 
prudent, but satisfactory and iolclligiblo 
terms: those who profess still to have attach- 
ments to the monarchy of the country, and 
who express apprehensions about its safely 
from the principles of the London societies^' 
and the contbclmg principles of various coun- 
try societies, they sooth into tnitcrnization, by 
lelhng them thai all would be set right ** by a 
full and fair representation of the people in 
parliament^'' — a name which was given to tbift 




Trial of Thomas Hardy 


Commons uniler Cromwell, as well as to the 
\ Icgiliruulc parlianienls of this counlry at dif- 
ferent periods,— without lelling them either 
what these Wfords meant, or how that piirha- 
fnetit was to operate to reconcile these dif- 
ferences, wliich vou will find amounted o«/yto 
' the differences between aa attachment to an 
I absolute republic, and an attachmeut to a 
{'limited monarchy. 

They enlist alike those^ who expressed a 
wish to know whether they proposed to reform 
the Huuseof Commons^ and those who wished 
to know whether tliey inleud to rip up mo- 
narckif hy the roots ; their answers were calcu- 
lated to satisfy each of them, to satisfy whal- 
i ever might be the disposition of those, who 
address the questions to them, remiiring in- 
formation upon subjects so totally aifferent. 
Gentlemen, this is not all : you will find 
; again, that for these pijrposea,pnblications upon 
Lthe government oi the country, which arc 
I alluded to in ibis indictment, and which will 
L he given to you in evidence, that publications 
[upon the government of the country were 
[adopted by those societies as their own, and 
circulated, if I may so express myself, in a 
mass round the cotmlry, circulated in a man- 
ner, that totally destroys the liberty of the 
pre.«^s in this country, — Thehberty of the press 
in this country never uught to be under an 
undue correction of the law, but it must 
always be, for the sake of the people, subject 
itQ Uie correction of the law : you will find 
that the^ie publications are either brought into 
the world with such a secrecy as bafiles all 
prosecution, — published without names of 
authors or of printers, — pubhshed by contriv- 
ance, I am sorry to say by contrivance pub- 
lishefl in tlie dead of night (though they are 
the workii of men who "have talents to stale 
them to open day, if lit to be stated to open 
dav), and published in (quantities, which niiike 
the application of the wholesome provisions of 
the law utterly incompetent to the purpose of 
allowing the correction of the law to be as 
fre<juent as the commission of the oflences 
agamsl it has been. 

Gentlemen, wjih respect to many of these 
iHiblicalions I may take notice of what has 
imppcned in the history of this country, and 
though no man wishes less to talk of himself 
than 1 do, yet 1 am speaking in the presence 
of many, who have heard me both in court 
and in parliujuent respecting those publica- 
tions to \^hich I allude (and which will be 
offered to you in evidence), express the difli- 
culty that my mind laboured under to con- 
cede that suiih a publication mn tlie Address 
to the Addressers, was not, according to 
law, an overt act of high treason. — It did 
appear lo mc that Hie pubhcalion of the 
book called the Address to the Addrts- 
sor« was an overt act of high treason, 
for the purpose of deposing the king; at least 
I thought it required an ingenuity and sub- 
tlety, much beyond that which belonged to 
lay mind I to state {»atisfa£tQry reasons why it 

was not 30 ; but there were reasons salis^ 
tory to those who can judge better than I can 
and therefore that book was treated only as i 
hbel ;^-but when I come to see it, as con- 
nected with the mass of pubhcatiuns alluded 
to in this indictment, — as connected with 
measures that I have to state to you in the 
course of opening this cause, — and as con- 
nected with the project which this indicfmeot 
imputes to depose the king, I say it is either 
most distinct evidence of an overt act of high 
treason, or it is an overt act of high treason 

Gentlemen, you will also not Cail to obserre 
(and I state it as a general feature andcbanw> 
ter of the evidence that I have to lay before 
you) — the mahgnanl art, and if I may so ci- 
press myself, tBe industrious malignity, with 
which discontent has been spread by Uicsc 
two societies in London.^ and the means of 
spreading it have been studiously and anxiously 
taught *rom society to society :^ — the means 
of spreading sedition, fresh as from London, 
in everj' town, all with reference (for the? 
are not material, if you do not find they had 
such a reference) to the final accomplishmeot 
of the same purpose : you wnll not fail to ob- 
serve how the passions and interests of iodiv^ 
duals have been assailed, and the method of 
assaihng them taught, according to their 
stations in life— not merely upon government, 
— bul> for the purpose of subverting govern- 
iiit'tu, upon tithes— corn-bills— taxes — gatne- 
laws — impress service— any thing that could 
be represented as a grievance, as well as the 
government itself, and to thi« intent— tliat, 
m aid and assistance of each other, si 
as they expressed it, ''might overs|*: 
whole face of the island/' and '' that the i-J 
might become free" — you wilt mark their ex- 
pressions — "by tlie same means by wbkh 
France became so/* 

Gentlemen, in staling to you the ehaneter 
of the evidence, it is necessary for me lo make 
oue observation, and it is the last I shall trou- 
ble you with : it is with respect to the prin- 
ciples upon which construction is to be given 
to the written evidence that will be adduced 
in this cause, ^sow I desire to state this to 
your minds as a principle perfectly reasonable 
in the administration of justice towards men, 
who are called upon to answer for offences 
that the language which they use, ought to 
be considered according to its obvious sense. 
If the language admits, and naturally admits, 
of a double interpretation, it must then be 
consi<lcred according to the nature of the prin^ 
cipie which that language is calculated to 
carry into execution ; each paper must be 
considered with reference to the context of 
the same paper, and with reference to the 
cuiilents of all oUser papers that form the 
cvidcncti of the same system, which the paptr 
produced is meant lo prove. 

^ow, it ynu should find that, in detailing 
the objccb uf this society, in detailing what 
they meant t^ do, and in detailing buw they 


Jor High Treason, 

A. D. 1794- 


loeiiit to eieeute infaBl tbcy iiurposed, thcj^ 
ibcutd ill fkct liave statetl Uial Ihey meant 
"^at hiwasle^al, — nor that which 

1, — nor mat which was other 
ticj.!-on> u wiU be in vain that they have 
ughl fit (for the greater prudence, the 
r, and the greater caution which 
most abundant evidence to prove 
' ccasionaJly, but add to the 
ng the danger) to assert at 
,, ...iLQ they have used general 
je^ that what they meant to efiect was 
aliil that they meant to effect it in a 
itstitutional manner. It will be- 
who have the defence upon their 
, Ui btale to you how, in a IcgaJ and con- 
Sional manner those thin^^s could be 
which were intended to be done, and 
I this ladiclment states were intended 
V dooe« tl' I prove to your ^-.itisfaction that 
ere intended to be done by the means 
inuiientSy wliich the indictment refers 

Ef*—.!^^-,^ of the jury, their principle, as 
fj f, was, that equal active cttizen- 

fkiy .- -"'"^tt of all men, and ihat upon 

Ibis prn ir representation of the peo- 

|li wa- - ked for- Now, it requires 

06 peatooiit^ to 9tate, that a representation of 
lilt peoph:' fouDiled upon the principle of equal 
icijve c of all men, must form a par- 

iwnni > h no Kiog» nor Lords, could 

Ti)^«; i> an laid of equal active citizen* 
Cbfi inoment thnt either of them exists, 
to my ' I i'jn of equal active 

J, and ij' » Ikeir corulmction 

^Hi for they f.tHte iiiai the effect ofitis « 
fWfittmmlQim gor^rnment. But it is not 
iynj|li for me to tell you, that, in reasoning, 
lUi i» die eoDsequence ; it is a circumstance 
19 Im tUcen into your consideration ; but I say 
I ihaU ttiufy you, if I am bound to^o farther, 
tetllic spphcatioo of the principle of equal 
iClif« dtiteoftbip, according to them, was to 
It diA icMindation of u representative gtfvern- 
ttHl, rejecting the King and Lords out of the 
•jftltai. Thr principles were the principles 
ifOtt wbidi ' mtion of France, in the 

y«!«r 179!, V' I ; the principles of that 

the principles of equal ac- 
tliey attempted indeed to 
e A kiu'^ m the constitution, and to 
wlul I may call a royal demoiracy t but 

ftbsU '- ' " Visfration, that the 

London knew thai 
c^^iisVitukiuii LiJiJini iuit exist, that their 
fthlMtet led tlieui to a distinct knowledge 
liitt tniiei»n«-tnkit'>''n could not eust : it was 
ntbe mifit ist 179? entirely over- 

sale i ^ I hud from the transac* 

of tikis nociety m llie months of October 
Nofcoibef 1799, unless I mistake the 
9§ut <vf the cvidenci*, the clearefit dcmon^tra- 
tioii ihst ibe^ ^urirtte? meant in applying 
^kam |iiitici|i}e%, ^ . y themselves state 

1b4 dweuojred n n:e of a king in 

tlicy niusl destroy the exlsl- 

ence of a king in any country ^—you will find 
tliat,from October J792 al lea^». these societies 
meant to destroy the kinj in thiscounlrr, am 
that this was the natural elFect of their ow! 
principles, as they understood them. 

Gentlemen, you will now give me leave ti. 
state to you, as well as i can, and as intelli- 
gibly as I can, the mass of evidence, and the 
case which I have to lay before you. 

The particular act, the nature of which wiil 
be to be expiamed bv all the rt?st of the evl 
dence, whicti has led to the includin;; the! 
particular persons in one indictment, arosftj 
out of a letter, dated the 27 th of March i79ig1 
which was written by the prisoner, tt)en the' 
secretary of the London Corresponduio; ho- 
cjety, to" the society for Constitutional infor- 
mation. The. words of it are these : 

** I am directed by the London Correspond- 
ing Society to transmit the following resolu< 
Uons to the Society for Constitutional Infor- 
matioj), and to request the sentiments of that 
society respecting the important meastires 
which the present juncture of affairs seema 
to require. The London Correspondii ^ 
ciety conceives that the moment is arrived'* 
mark tlie words ; for, in the rest of what 
havt to state, you will frcauently hear ol the: 
time to which that alludes — ** when a fui" 
and explicit declaration is necessarj' from ai 
the friends of freedom, whether the late ill 
gal and unlieard of prosecutions and sen teno 
shall determine us to abandon our cause, < 
shall excite us to pursue a radiciil reform with 
an ardour proportionate to llie magnitude of 
tlie object, and with a zeal as distinguished on 
our part as the treachery' of others in the 
same glorious cause b notorious. The Society 
lor Constitutional Information is therefore re- 
quired to determine whether or no they will 
be ready, when called upon, to act in con- 
jimction with this and other societies, to ob- 
tain a fair representation of the people." Gciw 
Llenien, give me your attention presently to 
what they conceive to be a fair rcprebcnta'lioi 
of the people, when I come to state the reso 
lulions which they transmit! ** Whether the: 
concur with us in seeing the necessity of 
speedy Convtntion for the purpose of obtain- 
ing,*^ (then they use the words), " in a cunsli- 
lulional and legal method'* — of the eflect of 
which you will judge presently, for the me- 
thod will not be the more constitutional and 
legal for their calling it so, if tlie nuahod is in 
fact unconstitntional and lUej^al — " a redress 
of those grievances under which we at present 
labour, and which can only be effectually re- 
moved by a full and fair representution of the 
people of Great Britain. The London Cor 
responding Society cannot but remind ihet 
friends tiiiit the pt esent crisis demands all the 
prudence, unanimity, and vigour, that ever 
may or can be ejierled by men or Ilritons; 
nor do they doubt but that manly firmness 
and consistency will finally, and they believe 
shortly, terminate in the lull accomplishment 
of aU their wishes.'* 



Trial qf Thomas Hardy 


They then resolve, and these re&olutions 
are enclosed : " lsl« Thai dear as justice and 
iibcrly arc to Britons, yet the value of them 
' is conipiirativcly smalf without a dcDenilancu 
on Iheir permanency, and there can be no se- 
curity for tiie continuance of any rights but 
to equal laws. 

" ad, That equal laws can never be expect- 
ed but by a full and fair representation of tlie 
people; to obtain which, in the way pointed 
out by the constitution," — you will sec what 
that IS in the third resolution — ** has been 
and ii> the sole object of this society ; for this 
we arc rcaily to hazard every thing, and never 
i>ut with our lives will we relinquish an object 
whit;h involves the happiness, or even the po- 
• Jiticai existence of ourselves and posterity, 

" 3rd, Thul it is the decided opinion of this 
socielY, thai» lo secure ourselves from the fu- 
ture illegal and scandalous prosecutions, lo 
prevent a repetition of wicked and unjust sen- 
tences, aiid to recall those w*ise and whole- 
I ^me laws which have been wrested from us, 
i nnd of which scarrrly a vestige remains,*'-^ 
I- Gentlemen, vou wdl permit me to call jour at- 
I lention to what the ulijects were which were 
j io Ire Hccomplishctj-—** there ought to lie im- 
I mediately/* — what?—" a cttuvetdhn of the 
peopit hy delegate* drpnUd far that purpme 
the different tocietkt vf the friends of free* 
/* And what are the purposes Which 
convention, which they themselves re- 
present as a convention of the people, are to 
execute? Why they, the delegates, forming 
a convention oi the peopir, are to recall those 
•wise, wholesome laws, which they say have 
been wrested Iroui them. Before 1 have done, 
I shall prove distinctly that this in the mean- 
ing of the passage, and the meaning of the 
passage will be to be collected from the whole 
cf the evidence unduubtedty, not from this 
particular part of it. 

The lonsliiulional Society, there being 
present at ihut lime six of the persons men'^ 
tioned in this indictment, willioui any delibe- 
ration whatever upon a proposition so mate- 
rial as thill i6— and iherelore it must be left 
lo you, upon the whole of the evidence, whe- 
ther it is fairly to he inferred or not, that this, 
like a grctit in;iny other papers of the London 
Correspundinu; S<*( iely, really came from the 
^ Qstitutiouulssocicty — they immediately or - 
«d that their secretary shall acquaint the 
London Lorrchponding Stjcieiy, that tlicy had 
received their cunnuuntcaliou, that * they 
heartily concur with them in i ' 
h%\c in view, and thai for tli 
the purpose of n more spriJ. 
co-opct^ition, they invit* sIimii i^ 

'"-♦ '"'i;V eveiiUi^^ ^ *ic.r^«if-ii of 


lu- in In [\in imrticulars of 

' leave to 

■111 ivty, in- 

I m Uu& mdiiiiuent, rd to 

«e UiAt delegation: i was 

1 9l Ibe ante time a Coiuuiitle« of Cor- 

respondence of six members of this society ; 
that afterwards the London Corresponding 
Society formed another committee ; that the 
two committees met ; that the two com- 
mittees meeting, came to a determination that 
this project of calling a convention of the 
people should be carried into effect; and 
then, that a joint committee of co-operation 
of both societies was formed by resolutions 

Having stated what happened upon tlic 
arih of March 1794, and connecting it, as I 
shall do presently, with the very singular 
facts, which you will find also happened in 
that year, you wiU give me leave, in order to 
show what the true construction of this act is, 
as well as to stale the crminds upon which 
the indictment, even without this act, charges 
a conspiracy to depose ihc king — you will 
give me leave to stale the transiictions of these 
societies from the month of March 1799. 

Gentlemen, in or about the month of March 
1702, — whether before that tunc the London 
Correspondintf Society had existed or not, 
seems to me to be dubious, and therefore I 
will make no assertion of that one way or 
other; but supposing it to have existed, it 
will be made extremely clear that this society 
existed at that time without a constitution, 
as they call il, and was indebted to a gentle- 
man of the name of Tooke for the constitu- 
tion under which the society was modified, 
and was indebted, I think, to a gentleman of 
the name of Vaughan, for his assistance in the 
composition of the code of its laws. 

Ihc fir»l correspondence that I find be- 
tween the Constitutional Society, and the 
London Correspoudmg Society, wtiich I have 
to Slate to you, is in the communication of the 
principles of the Corresponding Society, sent 
with a letter signed by the prisoner at thebar^ 
which letter is in the following words ; *• I 
am ortlcred by the committee to send to the 
Society for Constitutional Information in Lon- 
don a copy of our motives for associating, and 
the resolutions we have come to : we mran 
to persevere in the cause we have embarked 
in, that is, to have (ifpossilde) an equal repre- 
sentation of the people of this nation in par* 

I observe here for a moment that you wiU 
not be surprised, wlien I get to tlic conclusioa 
of this busiucsA, that this cautious laiig;uage 
was used in the outset t it will be for you Uk 
judge whether a i^ludied caution is fairly im- 
* to the language. It prucecdiS thus: 
hould be exceedins^ly happy to enter 
ifuo a rorrcsp ' ' ' " ; Ty, if it 

is not too nil expect 

suchin honour , ..u«. " - wt 


hope that they will di 


111-. ■■-■'.'■.:. ^ -■ ■ ' ■ ' ■ 

of liu&i &0f4c:iy, wkich rr&oiulions ptirp^irteii 10 


for High Treanmu 

signed " Thomas? Hardy, secretary.** It 

"ImPOcncil^ by an ucd(!er\l not very easy la t»e 

1 I'or nt present, and, nutwithsland- 

1, I shall prove distinctly to you that 

art* the aclof Mr. Hardy r that 

"Thomas Hard y, secretary "^ — 

isAgn^iure, as I am inslnicted, in the 

l-writinjj of Mr. Home Tooke ; that is, 

B^irdy jn ihc London Corresponding So- 

\ ^ends the resolvilions of the London 

I _ t - - » - ^ tpologiEing extremely 

111 presuming to send 

■ Lj^L.iuuonal Society, the sig- 

resolirtions bearing the name 

•^, . .. .„ i.^rdy in the hand-writing of Mr. 

Tookc : whether those resolutions were finally 
fettle<l by that gentleman or not, I do not 
ikti^jm I but you will find that there exibts a 
^pup^r which contains, I think, distinct evi- 
'fSence upon the !ace of it> thai those resolu- 
tikrtxt have been settled, with a good deal of 
frAlion, by the same i^entleman whose 
writing occurs in the signature which I 
re been stating. 

Grnllemen, before these resolutions were 
and before I slate the matter of theni to 
yoii will allow me to mention that there 
*■ •' tt a correspondence between other so- 
lid the Society for Constitutional In- 
t ...... ;,.ii, of such a nature, as, in order to 

^•laikc this ca?ie intelligible, will require some 

cb^crvjtions from me, nnrl ?,nrne altentjou 

; il is the con r ^y of other 

^_ hilt which corn , nrfi I shall 

h u manner with the London 

J Society, as in fact to make the 

oiXXkC other societies the acts of that so* 

id of March 1792, with a view 

lial were the principles of this 

T L state, that they 

the thanks of 

jjvi n uj >jr. Thomas Paine, 

masterly book intituled. The 

m ,.,u,^K ....} Qfijy ^hc male- 

' ribblers are de- 
-Lcd ridicule, but 
rtant and beneficial 
i so irrcNtstiblycon' 
I romisr! the acceleration of that 
nl |)eriod, when usurping bo- 
tnd proHigale bornugh-hoyrr.'* 
?d of what they impudently 
!v— the choice of the 
fie. The CoH'^titu- 
\* expressing their sa- 
le a pubhcation has 
'- ' -■■ ^. - -..-I 

hich I heir 

I what purpose you 

it* to ilate to you the 

'U\s business — **That 

. iind all future pro- 

n.^fU]j^% ul ih4?^ ftociciy, be regtilarly transmit- 

A. a 1794. [282 

ted by the secretary to all our corresponding 
constitutional societies in England, ScotlanoJ 
and France/' 

Now, gentlemen, as I shall prove what the 
book was to which this resolution alluded, t 
shall take the liberty at present to state in a 
few words to you, as far as they affect the ex- 
istence of a king in this country, those sub- 
jects, which, according to the lanjgnage oftliia 
resolution, tbe Constitutional Society sincerely 
hope that the people of England would give 
attention to, as discussed in Mr. Paine's first 
book. In that book these doctrines, with re- 
spect to Great Britain, are laid down: ^a 
constitution is not a thing in name only, but 
in fact ; it has not an ideal, but a real exist- 
ence ;*' and you wUl find this extremely im- 
portant, because in the result of the whole 
evidence that 1 have to lay before you, it will 
appear that they did not only distinctly dis- 
avow making any application to parliament, 
but the competence of parliament to do any 
thing by way of reform, because the country 
had as yet no constitution formed liy the pei>- 
plc, Mr. Paine proceeds t ** Can Mr. Burke 
produce the English constitution ? If be can- 
not, we may fairly conclude that no such 
thinc^ as a constitution exists." 

After staling that the septennial bill show- 
ed that lliere was no such thing as a consti- 
tution in England, the book stales a farther 
fact, not immatcriaK that the bill which Mr* 
Pitt brought into parliament some years ago 
to reform parliament, was upon the same er- 
roneous principle, that is, upon the principle 
that parliament was able to reform itself. 
With respect lo other subjects, to which the 
attention uf the people of^England was called, 
you will find that this book, speaking of 
modes of government (and this is also ei- 
Iremely material with reference to the con- 
slructiun of what is aflcrwards to be slated lo 
you), represents that ** the two modes of go- 
vernment which prevail in the world are, first, 
governments by election and representation ; 
secondlv, governments by hereditary succes- 
sion : the former is generally known by the 
name of republican, the latter by that of mo- 
narchy and aristocracy/' 

He divides government into government by 
election and representation ;— a representation 
founde*! upon election, and election founded 
upon universal suffrage ;— and government by 
hereditary succession. He then stales that, 
from the revolutions of America and France, 
and the symptoms that l»ave appeared in 
other countries, it is evident the opinion of 
i\\£. world is changing with respect to govern- 
ment, and that revolutions are not witTiin the 
progress of political calcutalion; and that Ihe 
British government, not existing upon the 
principles he recommends, is not a govcm- 
uicnt existing upon such principles that a na- 
tion ought to sunmit to il ; ana that the par- 
liament of the country is not able to form * 
government, that will cjdst upon those priacK 

S83] S5GE0EGE lU. 

Genilemeiiy tt is a very remarkable cir- 
eumstaace, as it strikes me, that, though va- 
rious societies had existed in other parts of 
Great Britain, till about the time of the for- 
mation of the London Corresponding Society, 
none of these societies had asked or invited af- 
fihation wilh the London Constitutional Socie* 
ty, which you will find they all ask and alt in- 
vite about March 1792, whether by manage- 
ntent or not, I do not pretend to detemiine^ it 
will be for you to judge ; but they all ask and 
all invite aHiliation with the Constitutional 
and Corresponding Societies^ as soon as the 
latter is formed. 

Upon the 16th of March 1792, you will 
find a rjesolution of tlie society for Conslitu* 
t^onaX Infonnatiou, which states and returns 
thanks for a communication from Manches- 
ter» signed *' Thomas Walker,* president," 
and " Samuel Jackson, secretary ;^' in which 
'' they return the thanks of the society to Mr. 
Thomas Paine," who appears to have been 
a member, a visitor of ttiis Constitutional So* 
ciety, " for the publication of his Second Part 
of tne Eights of Man, combining Principle 
and Practice." I shall endeavour to stale to 
you in a few words what is the combination 
of the practice stated in the Second Part of 
the Bights of Man, with the principle in the 
First Part, " a work," they say, ** ot^ the high- 
est importance to every nation under heaven, 
but particularly this, as containing excellent 
and jiraci legible plans for an immediate and 
considerable reduction of the public expendi- 
ture for the prevention of wars, for the ex- 
tension of our manufactures and commerce, 
for the education of the young, for the com- 
fortable support of the a^ed, for the better 
maintenance of the poor at every description, 
and, finally, for lessening, greatly, and with- 
out delay, the enormous Toad of taxes, under 
which this country at present labours. 

** That this society congratulate their coun- 
try at large on the induence which Mr Paine 's 
pubhcations appear to liave had in procuring 
the repeal ot some oppressive taxes in the 
present sfission ot parliament ; and Ibey hope 
that this adoption of a small part of Mr* 
Paine^s ideas will be followed by the most 
strenuous exertions to accomplish a complete 
reform in the present inadequate slate of the 
representation of the peooic, and that the 
olner great plans of public bentfit, which Mr 
Paine nas so powerluUy recommended, will 
be speedily carried into effect/' 

Now, < n, as Mr. Paine*s plan for 

the reii present inadtiouatc ulale of 

thf ' ' V ' W 

to, 'til- 

UUit.M r'^''' ij'''- "lun I'iaLinT', .uili .is it 

is stated that the other great plan-S of public 
benefit, which he had 50 powerfully recom- 
mended, would bt* speedily carried mlo etfecl, 
it will be necessary to Aow jou, from this 
letter, what were thoiic plans tor the rvmcdy 

Trial qf Thomas Hardij 

of the inadequate stale of the rcpresentatioiil 
of the people, and other plans of public bene 
fit, which this society, receiving tne thanks o 
the Constitutional Society, hoped would bsl 
carried into eflect. 

Gentlemen, I do not take up your tim« in 
stating the passages to you, but represent to 
YOU the substance of that book ; that it is a 
book distinctly and clearly reconimendmg tho. 
deposition of the king ; if the passages in thai i 
book do not prove that assertion, there is ncJ 
evidence that can prove any assertion : it is M 
book, moreover, which not only puts Uie kici||| 
out of the system of the government of ih«] 
country, but, according to which, if a perfei 
representation of the people is to be formedi^ 
it IS to be formed not by a parliament ejusting J 
in a country ^ — in which that gentleman staieM 
that no constitution exists— not by that par-l 
Ibraent, which he states to be totally and ab»| 
solutely inadequate to the great work of forin*^ 
ing the constitution upon tlie rights of m«a 
and equal active citizenship, which he recom* 
mends: it is a work, which calls upon the peo*^ 
pie of England to do themselves justice in 
another way of proceeding, and to form 
I constitution for themselves before they ca 
have any government, which is to exist upoij 
I true principles. There is then, 1 say, in tlif 
j beginning of this thing, a deveiopcmeol of ' 
' these purposes ; and I say, bey on u that, that 
I if I understand the effect of evidence at ali^_ 
X shall satisfy you that those, who voted thin 
resolution of tfianks, knew that the principlefi 
I there referred to, were principles that would I 
I have this operation, and meant that thejfl 
should have this effect. . I 

The next thing I have to state, which X\ 
! shall not go through very particularly, is con- 
tained in a resolution of the Constitutional 
Society (some of the members of which, li 
shall prove to you, began to leave the &ocietjr1 
about this time, stating distinctly that theyi 
understood its principles to be now (hfTerentl 
from the principles it had formerly acted! 
upon, and to be such principles as i havml 
stated) entered into upon the '23rd "«' MinH' 
1792. They resolved that another 
cation, which is from Sheflield, - o, 

published in the Morning Chronicle, and iii| 
several other uewspapens, wtiich they i 

With respect to the communicAtion from 
Sheffield (and it is a remarkable M ' ', 
from SheiAeld, and from Norwich, 1 1 1 d j 

be writing, on the same day, for tiic ^ain« 
purpose— that the societies of Shcl^icld 
Norwich might be aftdiated with tlif London 
Constitutional Society, and the Shcfiictd peo- 
ple were ^^^ - ■ ■■ ^ -it it, if it were tl»©if j 
<jwn act nil ^ry wrote mor« I 

one letter i;- ^^. • , ;.; ^ :, U), it is to this 

^^ lii> navv iihotit f'uur rnuiilhh siuct" this SO» 

r^kdv&ed wiii uilwfti you of thor 

fur Tfigh Treason* 

wUkh is most probable, will soon be- 
TW numrrous ; and not only this large 
»vvo, but the whole neighbour- 
uiilcs round about, have zn at- 
>Q U3: most of the towns and 
are forming themselves into 
ltim>i-i« ii^ , and strictly adhere to the 

Imodr of ri r us : yovi will easily con* 

tc' '' ior the leading members 

irict attention to good or- 
. , , Lind llie need we tiave of 
communicating with those 
Lie friends and able advocate* 
foe th« same cause ; for these reAsonswe took 
the liberty to write lo Mr, Home Tooke, that 
lorthy friend and patriot for the rights of the 
i^oplc, tn forming him of our earnest desire of 
ifwtcri connexion with the society of 

the 5 ioinalion of ours in London; 

vcr) obliging and affectionate answer fa- 
'iRQurs us with your address; in consequence^ 
' iken the liberty herewith to trans- 
J some resolves, which were passed 
#t inir ia>t meetings by the whole body, and 
'^^- committee was charged with the dispatch 
ppr, ♦.,... .rvl forwarding them lo you ac- 
' I : Ue purpose of submitting them 

'%> lh< 'Alion of your society, and to 

. m as they think most pnidenL 
Tou ' notice the Belpar address: they 

l^pplied to us about two months ago for in- 
tions as to our mode of conducting, &c. 
not then formed themselves into any re- 
dLSaociation. Belpar is nearly thirty 
from this place, in Derbyshjre, and 
il or t<?n mile? from Derby. 
**lf ■ ely for Constitutional Informa- 

u should vouchsafe so far lo 

to enter into a comiexion and 
with us» il cannot fail of pro- 
!'s . and a<iding strength to our 

'!• trs^ and to the common cause, 

£l. .^ .,. ciilire motive we have in view.'* 
Th^v then, upon ihc lith of March, 1709, 
HI J ihdi Un-Yc was a <:onnexion between 



H U} 




fCD!J«rrn;iui^ Oi 

\ei tliiC j^ 
for tt^ ai 

itioual and London Cor 

V (and that they should 

on ihc t4th of March, which 

1 before the :JOth, when Mr* 

Mr. Tooke the resohilions 

ned in the name of Mr. Hardy 

as a communication to him 

V such a body as the London 

S:»t lety^ is a circumstance that 

tM-rij; they then add, ** We 

ibrrty nf enclosing a parcel 

m .in^wrr to a letter from him 

rt'<]ut>tjng some informatioQ 

r UK ihu^rof conducting the 

"i ' M ^ .rked in, &c, also in- 

Ixjndon a number of 

; , , ike. forming them- 

cifty on the broad basis of the 

You will be so obliging as to 

in with youuntd he call 

po^t 1 have wrot€ him 

liMni»t W c have giirtn him our manner of 

proceeding; from our setting out to this tJrae, 
and hope it may be of some use. The im- 
provement we are about to adopt is certainly 
ti)e best for managing lar^e bodies, as in 
great and populous towns, viz. dividing them 
into small bodies or meetings of ten persons 
each, and these ten to ap[»oinl a delegate; 
ten of these delegates form another meeting 
and so on, delegating Jrom one lo another, 
till at last they are reduced to a proper num- 
ber for constituting the committee or gmnd 

There is another letter of the same dale, 
which has a remarkable circumstance about 
it. It is addressed to the Constitutional So* 
ciety. Gentlemen, it states that " this so* 
ciely/* that is, the same Sheffield Society, 
" feeling as they do, the grievous effects of the 
present stale defects and abuse of our countiy^ 
— (the word originally m this letter was ccwi- 
itiiution, but the word constitution, not being 
that which was Uked, by some very odd acci- 
dent in the letter froni Sheffield, the word 
ctmnfry, in the hand-writing of Mr. Tooke, is 
substituted for C4fn%titutian)^-^* the great and 
heavy oppressions, which the common people 
labour under, as the natural consequence of 
that corruption, and at the time being sen- 
sible to a degree of certainty, that the public 
minds and the general sentiments of the peo- 
ple are determined to obtain a radical reform 
of the country," you will mark these words^ 
" as soon as* prudence and discretion will 
permit, believes it their duly lo make use of 
every prudent means, as far as their abilities 
can be extended, to obtain so salutary and 
desirable an object, as a thorough reformatioa 
of our country,'- the word country bcingagaia 
in the hand-writing of Mr. Tooke, ♦'esta- 
blished upon that system, which is consistent 
with the rights of' man,"— for lliesc reasons 
they stale their formius into clubs, as the 
formrr letter did, and they conclude thus— 
*' llial being thus strengthened, this society 
may be better enabled lo govern itself with 
moVc propriety, and to render assistance to 
their fellow-citizens in this neighbourhood, 
and in parts more remote, that they in their 
turn may extend useful knowledge still far- 
ther from tuwn lo villa|»e, arid from village to 
town, until the whole nation be sufficiently 
enlightened and united in the same cause, 
whirh cannot fail of beinjr the case, wherever 
the most excellent works of Mr, Thomas 
Paine find residence/' 

Those works are the works which have 
held an hereditary monarchy, however li- 
mited, lo be inconsistent with the rights of 
man ; which have held the constitution of 
parhameul in this country to be inconsistent 
with the rights of man; and those works, 
upon the principles of that inconsistency, 
have held even the parliament itself incom- 
petent to reform any abuses in government. 

The paper they transmit stales as a fact, 
that the number of members at Sheffield 
were, in March 1792, two thousand. TWiS 

Ihc Constitutional Society in London and llie 
Constilulional Society at Sheffield, thus riu* 
iDerouft^ should have had no connexion by 
affiliation till the 14th of March, tr9«i 
though, on that t4th of March, 179 2» it ap- 
pears that the Sheffield Society had had cor- 
respondenccj and had become connected with 
the London Corresponding Society, prior to 
the London Corresponding Society sendin* 
the paper 1 before stated to the Coustituliond 
Society, is somewhat remarkable. 

The paper proceedfs thus : " This society, 
composed chiefly of the manufactiircrs of 
Sheffield, began about four months ago, and 
ia already increased to nearly two thousand 
members," In this letter, dated March 14, 
1792, they state it to have amounted to two 
thousand, exclusive of neighbouring towns 
and villages, who were tbrming themselves 
into similar societies. They then state the prin- 
ciples upon which the societies are formed, 
and that " they have derived more true 
knowledge from the two works of Mr. Tho- 
mas Paine, intituled Rights of Man, Fart the 
First and Second, than trorn any other author 
on the subject. The practice as well as the 
principle of government is laid down in those 
works, in a manner so clear and irresistibly 
convincing, that this society do hereby resolve 
to jy;ive their thanks to Mr Paine for his two 
said publications intituled Rights of Man/^ 

Gentlemen, I beg your pardon for address- 
ing you so much at length on tliis case, but 
I feel it my bounden duty to the public, to 
you, and to the prisoner at the bar, to warn 
yon fully of the whole of it. There is nothing 
which, I am sure, would more certainly h«p» 
pen, than that I should go^ not only out vf 
this court, but to my grave, with pain, if 1 
should have slated ti> you in a proceeding of 
Ihis nature the doctrines of Mr* Paine, otner- 
wise than as I think of them. If that is 
meant to be intimated, that we may have no 
dispute about them, and that we may not 
misunderstand what is that principle, and 
that practice, to which the passage I have 
now read alludcj*, you will allow mc to read 
a few passages out of this second part of the 
Rights of Rlan, stiid to contam both the prin- 
ciple and practice of government, and then I 
ask you what those must have intended, 
with respect to the government of this coun* 
try^ who meant to take any step in order to 
make a change in it, in such a way as the 
pnnciple and pnactice laid down in that book 
would require them to make it, rccoltecting 
that the government of this country is a go- 
vernment consisting in a king, having an he- 
Tedilary crown, together with Lords and 
Commons, forming a parliament accordmg 
to the hiwft and constitution of England. 

•thor» in the first nlace, fx- 
eal of what poWibly may be 

:^bt of h\ 
^ot call go 
ur he saySj 

.t!iM' nrr:«.Hns, but 

gi iho Amtncan war. he w«a ftixviigly im* 

pressed with the idea, that if he could gel 
over to England without being known, and 
only remam in safety till he could get out a 
publication, that he could oj>en the eyes of 
the country with respect to the madness and 
stupidity of its government." 

Let us see in what that madness consist 
according to him : having stated in his for^ 
mcr booTt that a government ought to exist 
in no country, but accordmg to the principles 
of the rights of man— he repeats agsiin the 
distinction he had stated in his former book| 
between what he calls the two systems: he 
says, '* that the one now called the old is he- 
reditary, either in whole or in part,*' which 
that of England; and the new is entxrel 
representative," — ^thal is, a government coi 
sisting of a Commons Hous-c, if you ch 
so to call it— We know, that in 1649 t 
roline government in this country was call, 
a parliament, called a Commons House, am 
it was then enacted, that if any persons shouh! 
attempt to put a king into this country, they 
should be deemed traitors, with much less of 
an overt act manifested than is necessary' at 
this day. Again, it is stated, " an lieritab; 
crown, or an heritable throne, or by whal 
ever fanciful name such things may be cali 
have no other signi^cant explanation 1^ 
that mankind are he n tab I e property. To in- 
herit a government, n^ to inherit tlie people^ 
as if they were flocks and herds.'* 

" Hereditary snccessiou is a burlesque npoi 
monarchy. It puts it in the most ndiculou 
light by presenting it as an o4hce, which an; 
chdd or idiot may 611. It requires sonm' 
talents to be a common mechanic, but to b« 
a king requires only the animal figure of 
man, a sort of breathing automaton. This 
sort of superstition may last a few years 
more, but it cannot long resist the awakened 
reason and interest of man ;'* then, ** in what- 
evor manner the separate parts of a constitu 
tion may be arranged, there is one geuersd 
principle, tliat distmguishes freedom from' 
slavery, which is, that all hereditary govern- 
ment over a people is to them a species a^ 
slavery, and representative government ~ 
freedom;" then, speaking of the crown 
England, that crown, in which, according 
the law and constitution of this country, 
cording to its principle and practice, is vcst< 
the sovereignty in the manner in which 
have staled It, he says, " having thus glanci 
at some of the detects ot the two Houses 
Parliament, I proceed to wliat is called the 
crown, upon which 1 shall be very rrinci«<?. 

sterli I! 

leave to upvLTv 1 in:it tm**, wniiii ji a 

often detailed for the worst of pur[ i- 

not but h^ L,w,,„., ♦,. those who yi 

thing of 1 I of llie c t{ 

charge noi^, ^'^ ^vlin .y 

thing of the c- j ] 

who do not ki ^ \ , 
grofs miareprtacnlattou^-^* Lhtj busmeia of 

Jbr tttgh Treaso 

U.T). 1794. 



• > 


^M 11 

h, so^iic 

Vi. a^M^^i 

1 kiM:: jnu^jK 


i supcrs^titiuus 

ilMiawce I 

.,»hi.r. .1,1.1 




1 ' , 


anotlur pni I of this work. 

^ «* 

vLts very welt 




composers of 


(1 ; that thq 


e to re- 


; , ' 


mih It 


1 H>rj) 'Jl 'it 


incnl: aivfl K; ti- 

€d|y(}w. ^....i . liut h 

IV*' Ih") 'ML.,.,,.,,, -t. use 

if be hwi staled 


k' even iri the 

Ittneiiiiiif tif ir 


,i!i1j-hrs lliiS 



liHb Hi 

.•-,: jiil'tH 


ihc constitu- 


he foresaw 

<^ in August I ; 


(itKl ( t^m prove, that 

IhoK pcraon*, ^ 

111* 1 

A'PTP Ihu*? approving tlie 
knew that a 
ly wUh those 


Ivtrnfilei; #»»'} 

ii itiem therefore, 



4 kiiig s)jouid not 
reiolntioas being re- 



,.,, ^i-.rr...Lt .. .t-'i i^lttkcn 


ty, atid 

t ^«|i, mhi^^^ 

to the 

hMk llMvelii n> 

ho**k of 


' uiHli;h; 

bia tiiii t» 


Pqoh wL 



i Ui the lH>ok ; »iiul tiicn 

wiOi j|¥i^ 

nation of thern^ in the 


WorkJ, VmU Times, 


^Llc^ojid (ieutr;*! Evcn- 

' ling tiie 

pnupid * 

1 for the i 

52Sr ' 

* ion, 

Ibca,^ JUsrr^b tiiA, l^tK','— his hund^wnUu^ 
Ul« word* ** l^tt* ihifUianU mvmiH'n^*" 

iiaikr, I rAxmot s;ty by him, hnt by 
la^f, I •«p|HJ-« fnr iljc pvirpo!«e of being 
famuli t (here i» ut tlte condu- 

•i«i o: \T\ iho Ikmd-wntuiij ot 

I: ' 

tccT^Aty do reiuru ike thanks qf 
liu .in>fui^ ia ih€ SoCiitj/ for Comiitutionul 
JM^imimn uiMi^k^d tu SMffici^I, ami tfwt 
ke #«».-^.. #,5 1410^ ^ij^ wh^tjhmiUhip nmi 

.J /Za'^ 'viely embraces tKcm^ as bruthrr 
ffcri in the tam^ fntjse ; ■ * — ojf 

3jiie :mt] practice I suppose. *' That he dp 

'■ (htm i^' our tntirc concttrnnce itHik 

Lilt it optmon, ru. (hat the ptopk of (hit conntr^^ 

are nntf us Air. httrke tcnna thu^Uy Kimnei'*^f»\ 

ihr iv'ri»"r of ihi-s mnsl have known very weln 

in which an improper wurJ, £1 

.. i imil, was used by the person t^J 
whom lie now alludes, — but rational kin^i^} 
better qualified to ifparote truth from en or 
than hirnMti/f jyosnesiing more hondtjff and Us$ 

^* RtBotvfdt that this society niH an Friday I 
ntrtf March 31jt^ ballot for the t etc he osw 
$ucifited members rtcoitimtndtd by the Shcffitl^^ 
ctnumittte^ and approved ot IhiS meeting,-* — -J 
T' 1 iJiia paper is tJvua ordered to be pub- 1 

1 for the primary purpose, I submit, of! 
itLniumending that prmcipic [and pr;u:ljce,] 
which makes the Sheffield people ** fellowv j 
labourers" with the Constitutional Society iQ 
the siime cauisc of principle and practice, an4 
which, both in the ])rinciple and practice, waf ] 
anued at the destruction of the govrmraent of] 
the country; — of that hereditary mormrchy. J 
which Piiine represents as tyranny;— of tha|j 
linated monarchy, which he represents ai 
tyranny ; and for the purpose of recommendT I 
ingXliai repreiteHtative government f which, I] 
say, is the true sense of all the words which ' 
these people use :— but this is not all — you 
will observe, that this paper of resohitions 
was accoaiptuiitd by a letter, in which letter ' 
there is also the hand- writing of Mr. Took«x | 
and thai the paper states that two thousand . 
members belong to the Bocicty at Sheifield, 
and that tliis number is to be ttalcd by pul^ 
lication, as the mmiber of persons belonging ^ 
to the ftociety at ShclTitld. In another pubh* 
calum they are stated to amount to twa 
thousand four hundred^iu November J 793, 
it is stited^ that they were many thousands i ' 
now you will see from the witnesses, some of 
these eurrespondeuLH, these able men, who 
are so little corrupt, in the course of cxamirm* 
lion — ^you wdt see, unless I am mistaken ia 
the cllect of the evidence I have to oHcr, the 
truth of an obT^crvatloti that 1 made, that 
mankind were to be misled, and societies 
were to be invited to be created, by the mis- 
re^trcseniaiion of numbers, and by j^iving tQ 
'Msting fiocieties a colour in I hat respect, 
nhuh did nut bclunja; to them; tor to this 
after all the pains which have been 

* with the Shctheld petiple (and what' 
p.utjs ygu will hear), those persons, who 
vNLre two thousand^ have yet arrived \o bu| 
about six hundred. 

Gentlemen, this iocietj, haviAE m thii 
letter expressed an inclination tlmt the)f 
should have some associated members in tha 
Corutituli* ' ' ' • !'»Ualion l)e£»in9 

ill the i V in Londcni 

Will tind, that upon ihc lilstol 
jHf^oni wwic ballotled fur as ii^ .. ..- 



Trial of Tkomtu Hardif 


field Society f and became associated members 
of this society ; you observe, that this letter 
had stated Vrom Sheffield thai they had 
received before a communication from Mr. 
Tooke, and Mr. Tooke afterwards writes a 
draught of a letter which is sent to them, in 
whicTi he slates, " I am directed by the 
Society for Constitutional Information to 
acknowledge the receipt of your letter, and to 
express to you that vciy great pleasure and 
satisfaction which they received from your 
communication; the society have unani^ 
muusly elected t^'elve" (here follow the 
names of the persons), ** as associated rasm- 
bers of this society,'' — These persons being 
certainly, gentlemen, extremely respectable 
men as subjects of Great Britain^ but at the 
*ame time men, that one wonders a lililc 
should, upon such a purpose as this, without 
a little more instruction being infused into 
their minds, have been associated as members 
into this society—** and we flatter ourselves, 
that when any business or other occasion 
shall lead any of those gentlemen to London, 
they witt be kind enough to honour the 
society by their presence, and give us an 
opportunity of cementing that friendship 
between us, which all the zealous friends of 
public freedom and the happiness of mankind 
ought to feel and exercise towards each other. 
** P. S. I am desired, by Mr. Home Tooke, 
to request each of the associated members to 
honour him by the acceptance of the books 
which accompany this letter f^ — which were, 
I apprehend it appears, so many parts of the 
Rif;hts of Man, 

Gentlemen, upon the 24th of March 1799, 
a paper apecars to have been sent to the 
Constitutional Society from a nest of societies, 
the United Constitutional Societies at Nor- 
vrich; this was the 24lh of March 1792, and 
it appears, as I am instruclcd, that the words 
" 'i-tth March 1792/' are also in Uie hand- 
writing of Mr. Tooke. 

** At a meeting of the delegates of th« 
Uniletl Constitutional Societies, held the 24th 
March 1799, at the Wheel of Fortune, St. 
Edmund's in the city of Norwich, it was 
unanimously agreed to communicate to the 
getatlemen of the London Society for Consti- 
tutional Information, the following Resolu- 

** 1st, We are happv to sec the success of 
the Sheffield Society for Constitutional Re- 
form, and approve of the delegations, which 
yoti and they have made in order to form a 
man of general infurmalion. We humbly 
teg that you would grant to us the same 
favour; aiid it is our wish, that all the 
societies of a similar kind in England were 
only as so many member and india- 

^aotubly united in one poh ,. 

"'idly. We briievc iu.a m^lructing the 

people m political knowNnl-^c, and in thrir 

^pftmral and inherent n ^ 

ttnlj e0eclual way to ol: i 

fef nAum^ fur m«u neco oujv i><. mauc nc* 

lUftilltadwitli the abuMJH^f government, and 


they will readily join in every liwfut means lo 
obtain redress; we havethc pleasure to inform 
you that our societies consbt of some hui^ 
drcds, and new societies are frequently form- 
ing, which, by delegates, preserve a mutual 
intercourse with eacti other, for nuitual in- 
struction and information; and the trreatesl 
care has been taken to preserve order and 
regularity at our nieetmgs, to convince the 
world that riot and disorder arc no parts of 
o\n* political creed. 

*^ 3dly. We believe, and are tirmly per- 
suaded" (and if any man thought so, he nad 
a riffht to say so if he pleased), " that Mr, 
BurKc, the once friend of liberty, has traduced 
the greatest and most glorious revolution ever 
recorded in llie annals of history; we thank 
Mr. Burke for the political discussion provoked 
and by winch he has opened unto us the dawn 
of a glorious day. 

'* 4th ly. To Mr. Thomks Paine our thankf 
are especially due for the First and Second 
parts of the Rights of Man, and we tiocere^ 
wish that he may live to see his labonrft** — 
that is, the destruction of hereditary govern- 
ment and limiled monarchy, and conscqueatlt 
the government of England — ** crowned with 
success in the general difliision of liberty 
happiness among mankind/' 

Gentlemen tnis letter does not ap^ 
(though the words, the S4tb of March, are is 
the hand-writing of Mr. Tooke) to have beea 
read in the Constitutional Society till the 14th 
of May 1792, when they read this letter, and 
also another, which I will now state to you^ 
from the society called the Norwich Revolu* 
tion Society. 

** The Norwich Revolution Society wbhes 
to open a communication with you atthisttsicv 
when corruption has acquired a publicity in 
the senate, which exacts from the honour of 
the Dritii^U nation renewed exertions for par- 
liamentary reform^ — without prejudging the 
probable event''— (Ihis is a raateriarpassage, 
when you connect it with what is found m 
other subsequent papersj — " even of such sn 
application lo the legislature, tlie society is 
willing to circulate the information, and to 
co-operate in the measures, that may seear 
best adapted to further so desirable and so 
important an end ; it is willing to hope the 
redress of every existing grievance at Xhm 
hands of a government resulting from an cji* 
Iraordinary convocation in 1688— an eatraor^ 
dinary convention of all, who had at auy pnv 
ceding time been elected rcpreseutativct of 
the people, assisted by the hereditary coun- 
sellors of the nation, and a peculiar dcnuta* 
tion from the metropolis; which natiooai 
constilutin^ assembly cashiered for tttSscai^ 
duct a king of the house of Stuart** 

The opinion^ and principles of this vode^ 
are bcM t by an appeal to ibeir lit^ 

raryrc( . o^^ To James Macki&lorit^^ 

* In 1&03 apfioinled Recorder of Bombay, 
on which occasioti hertceiired the booouroi 



Jm High Treatcn, 

A. D. 1794. 


IT I y^ the society 

II aion and giu* 

1 1^ J w ledge, Ujc tloquence, and 

?h i\ splrU, with wlijch he has 

jw Jed, aud commented on the 

ui. nnce; it hesiialcs to assent 

ri II i^ 43ptDioDS — that there are 
rests in bociety, those of the rich 
„,-^- uf the poor — if so, what chance 
the luttcx ? Surely ihc interests of ali 
I indusihous^ from the richest merchant to 
I poorest mechanic, are, in every community 
e, to lessen the numbers of the unpro- 
x% \Q whose maintenance they cojUri- 
p, ntvl \ii do away such institutions and im- 
ridget)je means of maintenance, 
the demand for iahour, or by 
im^ 1 : as the means most condu- 

<]ff« U* lehensive end» the Norwich 

it ' sir«fi an eqiiiLable repre- 

, it A^.^ni-, .^1 iVian by Tliomas Paine, 
tod th« tdirice to the privileged orders by Joel 
"^ ' iw,** A book which I sbaU give in evi- 
' therefore shall slate some passages 
^raESCOtiy, " have also been read With 
ition and circulated with avidity/' — Now 
^s book you wiU hud is, in llie plainest 
tD09t tmequivocal language, as I uuder- 
it, an ejihortalion to ail people to get 
4if iuiigty government, and addressed more 
|«ticuUrJy to the two societies I have mcn^ 
iMtdV fts ci.'i the substance of the bu- 

im% in ^ are interested, as you 

nil IM wb<'n i come to State the transaction* 
dOctebcr 1799. 

■ The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine, 
tod %km advice in the privileged orders by Joel 
Blvkr«r, have al^) becii read with atlention 
lod drailaud with avidity ; they point out 
%itJi dcamess jsosl of the ahuses which have 
Utijittlilcd uoder tlie British government; 
fifty att^^tk with energy most of the prejudi^ 
" ,vc tendedto perpctuale them." 

A- any man living couJd tliank 
|jc*jt4c without informm^ them tliat, if 
Ih^ r«iJly meant well to their country, they 
be i in the extreme, or something 

could reconcile either the 
ut iniHii oi Joel Barlow's book on the 
Orders with the principles of that 
in 1688, which is the foundation 
i4'|Im litelies of this country, is to me quite 
OBl^Qcpble, Hi If AhvT St at in (7 Uic consli- 
toliQiioClli] r fabricated 

1 vvclve names 
led members from Nor- 
i »piion of some of these 
fxn^ al?K>, from a siiig;idar circum- 
•tidicci te bp in the h^nd- writing of Mr. 
Tmkau Tb' sr turns thanks to 

Iba aockti*. md Norwich for 

llip raioluiioiis uf the London Correspond- 
M|Sadetj^ which 1 loir* -re sent ou ihc 

MiirfMafi:b,ar« 10 ' 

** ItiOlvcdiTbat en f,- ♦^v.. - Uual has a right 

to share in the government of that society of 
which he is a member, unless incapacitated, 

" Resolved, That nothing but non-age, ofj 
privation of reason, or an onence a.i;ums£ therf 
general rules of sucicty, can incapacitate hira^^l 

** Resolved, That it is not less the right^.| 
than the duty of every citizen, to keep ak 
watchful eye on the guveruraent of thiscoun^l 
try, that the laws, hy being multiplied, do notj 
dt-generale inlo o(ypression, aud that those \vh<i 
are intrusted with the government do not ^ub* ' 
stilute private miercst for public advitntck^'. 

** Resolved, That the people of Great Bri- 
tain are nut properly represented m parlia* 

** Resolved, That in consequence of a par- 
tial, unequal, and inadequate representation^ 
together with the corrupt method in which 
representatives are elected, oppressive ta3tes,^ 
unjust laws, restrictions of linerty, andwasl^j 
ing of tl^e public muney, have ensued, 

" Resolved, That the only remedy to those 
evils is, a fair and impartial representation of 
the people in parliament. 

" Resolved, That a fair and impartial repre- i 
sen tat ion can never lake place until partial j 
privileges are abolished, and the strong temp- \ 
lations held out to electors aBbrd a presump- 
tive proof, that the representatives of thia 
country seldom procure a seat in parliamentj^ 
from the unboimht suffrages of a tree people. 

" Resolved, Tnat this society do express 
their abhorrence of tumult and violence x 
and that, as they aim at reform not anarchv^ 
reason, lirmness, and unanimity be the only 
arms tiiey employ, or persuade tlieir fellow- 
citizens to exert against abuse of power.** 

Gentlemen, in this, which I have now read 
to you, I am willing, if you please, that you 
should construe every word of it, though cer- 
tainly it is not consistent with the principles 
of British government, upon tliis principle, 
that those, who sent tliat paper to the Consti- 
tutional Society, if it even was sent there at 
alt, really understood it to be consistent with 
the principles of the British government; and 
1 claim no credit fur the veracity with which 
I assert, that this conspiracy has existed, un- 
less 1 show you by subsequent acts of this so- 
ciety, that at this moment they meant what 
Mi\ Paine hays, in principle and practice, is 
the only rational thing— a uprescntaiivt gO' 
Terument : the direct contrary of the govern- 
ment which is established here. 

Yon will find, by what I shall lay before 
you, that there was a society in South war k, 
— ^lo this society the London Cor res pond uig 
Society, in a letter which I iiave to read to you 
presently, stated their adoption of all Mr. 
IVine^s principle*, with a view, as I think, ta 
the pracUcc recommended in his works t thif ^ 
society also received the thanks of the Consti- 
tutiona! Society for a communication which I , 
am about to state to you ; and the Londoi^ | 
Corresponding Society afterwards entered, as , 
it seems to me, into a combination with thcm| ^ 
upon tlic prhiciplcs stated in that coiummu-' 



cation: I say it is impossible^ attendittg to 
tliese facts, for any man who reasons fairly, 
to doubt that the principle of the London 
Corresivonding Society ana of the Constitutio- 
nal Society was, to form a repretentative go- 
vernment, in this country. 

A declaration from a society in South wark 
was read :— *' Resolved, that the thanks of 
this society be given to the Southwark society 
for the following communication, and that it 
be published in tne newspapers : 

•'April IP, t79t2, at the Three Tuns tavern, 

Southwark Resolved, That we do now form 

Ourselves into a society for the diffusion of 

political knowledge. 

: " Resolved, That the society be denomi- 

\ sated the Friends of the People. 

" Resolved, That the following be the de- 
. claration of this society," — which is the pre- 
■ amble to the constitution in France, in the 
; year 1791. 

" Considering that ignorance, forgetfulness, 
or contempt of the rights of men, arc the sole 
causes of public grievances, and the corruption 
of government, this society, tbrmcd for the 
purpose of investigating and asserting those 
rights, and of uniting our efforts with others 
ol our fellow-citizens for correcting national 
abuses, and restraining unnecessary and ex- 
orbitant taxation, do hereby declare— 

" First, That the great end of civil society 
is general happiness. 

** Secondly, That no form of government is 
good, any farther than it secures that object. 
^ "Thirdly, That all civil and political autho- 
rity is derived from the people" — that people, 
of whom they were afterwards to form a con- 

" Fourthly, That equal active citizenship is 
the unalienable right of all men; minors, cri- 
minals, and insane persons excepted.*' 

Now will my friend dispute with me what 
these principles, according to the ideas of those 
who state them, lead to ? 

" Fifthly, That the exercise of that right, 
in appointing an advijuate representative go- 
rernwc«f,"— that is, the government, which 
Mr. Paine tells you, rejects every thin;» that 
is hereditary— is what; — "the wisest device 
of human puliry" — not only that, but it is — 
" the only security of national freedom." — 
Tlien, is not that a direct assertion, that the 
British government exists upon principles not 
reconcilable with the principles of a govern- 
ment thai can have any security, or such a 
security as it ought to have for general free- 

The Society for Constitutioniil Information 
return their thanks upon that also, and then 
those persons who write this letter say far- 
ther in the same paper — 

" We cull upon our fellow-citizens of all 
descriptions, to institute societies for the same 
great purpose"— that is the purpose of intro- 
ducing representative government — ** and wc 
recommend a general correspondence with 
each other"— but alticlicd and rivelted to the 

Trial of Tkomoi Hardy \2S& 

Constitutional Societv— '^ and with the Soci- 
ety for Constitutional Information in London, 
as the best means of cementing the common 
union, and of directing with greater energy 
our united efforts to the same common ob- 

What were the objects of this society } You 
will find that the objects of this society were 
the objects of the Constitutional Society; 
and you will find presently that tlie^ were 
the objects of the Currespondine Society : — 
The Constitutional Society resolved, ** that 
every society, desiring an union, or correspon- 
dence with this, and which doth not profess 
any principles destructive to truth or justice" 
— now this gives occasion for the first remark 
I have to make upon language — •* or subver- 
sive to the lil»crties of our country : but which, 
on the contrary, seeks, as we do, the removal 
of corruption frum the legislature and abuses 
from the government, ought to be, and we 
hope will be embraced with the most bro- 
therly affection and patriotic firiendship by this 

I observe upon this, that all this handsome 
langiias;e is perfectly consistent with this 
principle, in the minds of those who write it, 
and they do not venture to explain it, because 
I think they durst not explain it,— with this 
idea in their minds, that those principles 
were destructive of truth and justice were 
subversive to the lil)crties of the country, 
which were principles in opposition to those 
of Mr. Paine; and that all practice, that was 
in opposition to the practice he recommends, 
was subversive to the liberties of the country. 

I come now to a circumstance or two, 
which lead nic to state shortly what will be 
proved to be the original constitution of the 
I/)ndun Corresponding ScK-icly — the plan (the 
eflicacy of which had been tried in France, 
and which men, who ctmie from thiit cotmirj', 
were probably well acquainteil with) — was, to 
unite, first sniall bodies of men — as s<ion as 
they tame to a greater number, to divide 
them into smaller parties, and so to spread 
themselves by degrees ^as you will find in the 
letters, was the piirpose of these societies), 
from town to town, from village to villag^e, 
from hamlet to hamlet, till, as they explain 
it, there should not be an unenlightened man 
in the country. 

The constitution of the London Corres- 
ponding Society was formed upon this prin- 
ciple ; It will appear from the written evidence 
which will be produced to you, that a gentle- 
man of the name, [ think of Felix V'aughan, 
was appointed a delegate upon the 30th of 
April, lor No. 63 ; that Mr Hardy consulted 
him ; and, bein^ also appointed to form a 
constitutional code of laws for the London 
Corresponding Society, Mr. Hardy consulted 
him u|)on that subject. The preamble to tlie 
resolutions which formed their constitution 
was this : " Whereas it is notorious that very 
numerous burthensomeand unnecessary taxes 
arc laid on the persons and families of us and 

Jbf High Tremom* 

ns inhabitants of Great 
Iv >Tf ;it mrijority of^hom 
' fh>ni all reprt?- 
>^ iipoii in*juiry \ 
t,% >fhich \s at ( 
mstry, and a di- | 
Ut)v>u i>l uur |>roj>crt>\ wr. tin<l tUat the ( 
llitiiMlinii ».r«»iir couulry» which was pur- j 
enpeniRc of the Uve» of [ 
V the violence and intrigvic ) 
_ n, been injured I 
^etilial and im- 1 
rriv tn the Houfteof 
■u\t pf the supposed 

.1,. .^ i,#MtLr.r- .,,^,ro 

-t such do fL<>ftertioQ in this 

I of Iftw in this country has not 

imctcr that belongs to law ; 

rd power *rva'^ ever to be em- 

Mon of that 


i w;lli liieir own principles, rc- 

lotnent iinintelligiMc to itie — 

' <?inthemodeofeIcc* 

liamejit^i, or from a 

' - i corpora- 

iie«5ot this 

'J ^T^.,v from the 

licrs of parhattienl: 

n. iiM thii until this 

Ld by the 

jiiessj and 

t' are robbed of 

>ii hvourforc- 

A. D, 1794, 


» diid UiTti our ta* 

wi!! ffo on 1 

rd tor the sail 
v^tlupteil the 
' roftl order 

. iuid pensions, 

trlianienl : we 


ly, for the 

nruJ others of 

par liame alary 

•— "f'ul bui 


and so- 

Thry thtn slate 

lution hav- 

1 it af\cr- 

t observa- 

> it in I he 

for No, m\ Mr. Rkhter, a party tiamtd in 
ttiis indrctrneni, and Mr. Marhn v,Mr.ih«»r 
parly, a«;ainst whom the graoM vc 

Ibund a 6iU, but who is not natnr^ in- 

dictment^ ore also appointed delegates. Mr« 
Hardy is not only secretary, but he b tp- 
pointed, upon the IDth of April a d^l^gate ; 
and there is a choice of delegates for the 
whole of these bodies. You will find they 
afterwarrls met from lime to time, to pur- 
sue the great purposes of their ineornor** 
tion, at an alehouse, I think, the Betl m 
Eaeter street, in the Stmtid, from which plaeo 
some of the correspondence I am about to state 
to you comes. 

Gentlemen, the Society for Constitutiotuil 
Information, having affiliated several socie- 
ties very suddenly with themselves— whether 
Mr, l^inc remained in this country or not I 
cannot tell — they felt an incliuation to affiliate 
with another soticly, which Is to be, as it ap- 
pear* to me, in justice to ibem, very slronyly 
dislinj^nshed indeed w^ith respect to the prm* 
ciples upon which they acted, I tomu the 
society calling itself the Friends of the Peo- 
ple, meeting at Free Masons* Tavern : with 
what prudence or discretion that society 
formed itself is a subject which I shall not 
discufis, but it is a mosi important fact, that in 
the first attempt, which the .Society for Con- 
stitutional InfornmiKjn made {and it ought to 
be knovvn in jU5iliee to the Friends of the Peo- 
ple), the first attempt they made to affiliate 
themselves with the Society of the Frti-iKi^ of 
the Peopld, that society^ in coi ,ce 

that will be read to you,' act 9 as - vh 

dual members of the Constitutiontii .Society 
had done ; they say—** No, we discover y^uf 
design from wlial you are doing; you tell u«. 
from your apprabatiou of resolutions eiiterea 
into at Manchester, signed by Mr. Walker 
and Mr. Jackitun, that you approve the sort of 
schemes Mr. Pajoe has set lortlij— that you 
approve pnjccts of giving, in loo^e and inde- 
finite terms, the tiiU extent of wK^' ^^"' fsill 
the rights of the people, to the | ii 

is notour intent; we think"- _ lUe* 

men, many a man may vti Ihinit 

it, but he must go about thf k of hie 

thoughts in a le^l wdVi il 1>^ dot-s au think, 
if he means to reduce his thoughts into prac- 
fice— -" we think ihdt paHi.tmeru is not arle- 
ijitatc to all the end^ f^^^r which it i* ifHfiUited 
as n liody, Ihroui^h which is to 1" as 

fiiT !*^ the consliintiou requires, H ^hc 

■ '.' '• r ■ ■ ' ■■ ■'"■ ■'" ' I mean; 


'.viMLri ill- 1 1..,'-( >'n. M- ,..--, .-i' meafl*/* 

d John RusAell! in a letter, which wiU 

- 1,1 i,r. >,.).. r Uie tbrm«« of the con- 

musl decltiM all em-- 



Jenii^n, it h:ippen%— it l>eUmgs it SO- 
; ^ ^ uf thi^ nntTtrr^ nnd ! desire to IMj 

^ — I umJrfalood, ' ♦ lt» only as 

lioti, Vol 23, p. I stating a tn u its nature 

I docs belong to tUu:>t: ^uiicUc^, autl whicb 



kippeo— tlmt il was thought necessary, for 
the great purpo&e of domg that which was 
eventually to be done, that a society, which 
had rejected co-operation with the Society for 
ConsUtutional liifuroiatioD, should stiJl be 
iept, for the purposes of the Society for Con- 
stitutional Information, in fact and cifect 
corresponding and connected with it* Ac- 
cordingly you will find that this Society of the 
rrienos ol llie People, rejecting upon principle 
the plan wlilch they tliotight abandoned the 
forms of the constitution, that this society 
retained, in its own bosom, according to the 
iccouot I have of it, many raembcra, who 
happened to belong to the other society, and 
Ihe work of both societies went on by the 
same instruments : they were thus therefore 
ixkooected in fact, though they did not choose 
as a body to have one society in connexion 
with the other. 

Gentknaen^ having stated that, you will 
allow me now to mention^ though it is a Uttle 
out of date, but it also connects itself with 
and illustrates the last observations I made, 
that the society at Sheffield, which had con- 
nected itself by affiliation with the Society for 
Constitutional Information, and you will also 
find with the London Corresponding Society, 
had received, about the 'i4th of May» inteUi' 

fence from the Society of the Friends of the 
eoplc, which stated to them very correctly 
what their objects were, the means by which 
they meant to accomplish them, and the 
attention which they meant to pay to the 
forms of tlie constitution. You will now see 
what Uie Society for Constitutional Informa- 
tion understood to be the objects of the 
Sheffield Society, and what the Sheffield 
:iety understood to be the objects of the 
:iety for Constituiional Information. The 
lefficld Society (though I do not know that 
they kept their word) dlsimctly disavowed, in 
a letter of the 26th May, to the Constitutional 
Society, having any thing more to do with 
tJial society— called the Friends of the People 
— which meant to preserve the forms of the 
constitution ; represented that they had totally 
misunderstood them, and would have notliing 
more to do with them, Vml to the extent, to 
which the Society for Constitutional Informa- 
tion permitted. 

You wUl fiiid in a letter from Sheffield, of 
the Jflth of May, and this corrected by Mr. 
Tooke, that they thank the Constitutional 
Society for accepting their mtmbers, Tiiey 
then state that they had increased to two 
thousand four hundred. — " On Saturday last, 
the 19th instant, we received a packet nf 
printed addresses, resolutions, &c. from the 
Society ^Vrr- ML«vn»,v' '^;iv^Tn^ which, on 

well rti 
as we t 



■. not no 

V lO U5t 

if liicy biid jh 
icw ; nor do n 
' ct, as w( 
^rcled froi^ 

tion of ^ ^cspccUblc a body, undci tUe hi 

Jritt/ of Thomoi Hardy 

denomination of the Friends of the People* 
In our opinion, their answer of the 19th 
instant to your letter of the 27 ih ultimo is no 
ways compatible with that appellation ; from , 
the known respectability of many nan 
which appear amongst \hem, we had enti 
taiued great hopes of their real use,*' — mar] 
the words, gentlemen — " in obtaining a the 
rough reform" — now mind what that refor 
is — ** in obtaining a thorough reform up 
the principles of Sie rights of man,** — that is 
a representative government, rejecting 
king, and rejecting every otlier part of the 
constitution of this country, except so far as it 
was consistent (indeed it is not consistent ] 
with any part of them) with the princinlci ol 
the rights of man — " which can never ne ae« 
compUahed until every man enjoys his lawful 
and just privileges. 

^* Previous to tlie reception of this packet, 
we did communicate to them by letter the 
]^ leasing hopes it reflected on us on looking 
forward, viewing such respectable characters 
signalizmg themselves in support of the 
people's rights, agreeable to the above princi- 

Eles, and the denomination by which thcj 
ave entitled themselves, &c. In due coursei^ 
they would receive our letter last Thursdaj^ 
seven- night ; and in consequence, we appre 
bend the packet was forwarded to us on the 
same day, but without any writlcu communi-*'] 
cation. We shall not attempt any further • 
communication with them, until we are 
favoured with your sentiments upon the 
subject, or until matters of doubt which are at 
present entertained be removed.^ Then there 
IS a note, which shows the necessity of this | 
fostering care of the Constitutional Society i 
they say—'* Birmingham in panicular claimi^ 
all the assistance from estaohshed societie 
which possibly can be administered.*' 

Having written to the Constitutional Society 
upon the 26th of May, they 6nd it expedient^ 
for the same purpose, to trouble their corres^l 
pondentsofthe London Corresponding Society ^\ 
** We were favoured with your very aflfecUo* I 
nate letter of the 7th ultimo, and communica-J 
tion, in due course ; and I am directed by. I 
this society to inform you, that it is withH 
infinite satisfaction they receive the informa* I 
tion, that your firm and laudable endcavourf ^ 
are directed to tliat effectual and necessary 
purpose, of opening and enlightening the 
public mind, and di> i^i; useful know- 
ledge amonestthe gi uf the people i J 
by an orderly procecamg in » firm mn-suil of^ 
truth and equity, there cannot be a uoubt but 
that our joint endeavours will in due time he 
crowned witli success* 

" As brothers and fellow-labourers we con* 
gratulate you on the rapid progrees ot usefiil^ 
and real knowlcdi^e In the vLirii»us ^mrtsof this i 
n, which - th,a the 

cannot bt . inith will 

•redommaiJ uiurt» gtnerallrj 

cd, and b. lum more uutj 

-ught aAer* VV hen pride^ ambitkiOp 


Jiir High Treason- 

A. D. 1794, 


agoonrtice give pl^cc to these virtuea, 
Hhcil ojiprcfsion ceases and charity abounds, 
Irheii men in principle and practice verify the 
oly and advantage of doing to others as 
htT wash to be done by ; then, and not till 
en, oin any people or nation be said to be 

** Wo have herewith enclosed our rules, 
Should have written you much sooner, 
on account of a diappointment in the 
riuting of our articles, ike. 
'* Our numbers continue to increase,-4K)th 
e, and in the adjacent towns and villages ; 
general coucurrence prevails, as to the 
aty of the business, and the measures 
iopted by this society for obtaining our 
(bject. It will be of peai importance to the 
I wc arc engaged in, that a more frequent 
Eiunication be maintained amongst all 
t aimilar institutions; for which reason we 
the favour of your correspondence at 
^ : vcnient opportunity, which will be 
111 ^ine to lois society, who in return 

* .^^^ » . . t ui se I V V < • < - I ' ^ f r V e I h e sa me rul e, ' ^ 
Gentlemen, li ed lo you now what 

Iwa*: tliii tilt , ,A the Friends of the 

op' > be the object of the 

*in ry» and I agreeing with 

in ii lieir disicovcry upon that 

ibjectwus and right, you will find 

\ neceasary to gu back, and to proceed in the 
*• of time to the ?th of April. Mr. Hardy 
nt from the London Corresponding Society 
copy of their resolutions to the Society for 
atti ' ' " ! nation, which was estab- 

• r^ and desired also to 
I currcspuiiutiiic with them, as they were 
* in one common cause ; that 
P^H-ui... s;,„ u.»v vQy ^in recollect, which 
■^1 er great benefits which 

^, l^^,^ .„^ „ i:J, would be carried into 

Urn sayf, ** Wc began this society about ten 
*l aeo; it h compOMd chiefly of irades- 
UM shopkeepers. The enclosed will 
I you of the principles wc set out upon. 
'^Vfh/m ^Hf^ ^fM n*^^}^\nif^A, we flattered our- 
lliai s in the nation 

ffontii nciplcs — butin 

or ihrv; ^ we were most 

Wy inforr J ren at Shelfield 

taken the kuu lu ^t^ i^iorious a cause 
Dctliately wrote to U»em, and were 
^1 »-;iKi...* .t..i ,^ * vnrr^^inj^ d wiih to 

; ihe ends wc 

, _ ^ : „. xjred of success, 

peraevenog prudently, and with unani- 


'pooUte tSth of April 179^, in furtherance 
llua jibo* von will find Mr, Hanly writes a 
to f I'Ql of the society m the 

Igb— i« tht- «f*r(rry, the prin- 

oC ^hkch 11': ] 

, aa leading W 

lllCaillv aecii:'^ ,; itu- roUDlry. 

w/jf^can tl Aiouib had also 

teot to Uc ijMuwii/ii CorrcapQiuiing 

Society; and Mr. Hardy, upon the 18th of 
April 1792, Kiys ** I am ordered by the Lon- 
don Corresponding Society, to send a copy of 
their re so lu lions to the society that meets at 
the Three Tuns tavern, in the Borough, 
established on purpose tor restoring the rights 
of election, or m other words, to obtnin an 
equal representation of the people of this 
nation in parliament/* 

Now the}' had avowed, and avowed in 
their declaration, that their object of a repre- 
sentation of the people in parliament waa 
precisely that more extended one in its prin- 
ciple, which obtained at the time of the 
Commonwealth in England— namely, a re- 
presentation of tlie people in )iarlianieDt» 
termed a parli.iment, but without King o? 
Lords, a repraentativt gofv&'nmcnt — ** We 
should be ven* happy to enter into a corres- 
pondence with your society— as we are all 
engaged in the same grand and important 
cause, there is an absolute necessity ibr us to 
unite together, and communicate with each 
other, that our sentiments and determinations 
may centre in one point, viz. to have tho 
rights of man re-cntablishcd, especially in this 
nation ; but our views of the rights of man 
are not confmcd solely to this small Island, 
but arc extended to the whole human race — 
black or while, high or low, rich or poor. I 
give you the following as ray own opinion^— 
perhaps you may think it a singular senti- 
ment*' — and then an opinion is given, which 
it is my duty to stale, though 1 do not under- 
stand it — *^ that the kin^ and the nobles, a* 
much a^ the peasant and ignoble, are equally 
deprived uf tiieir rights.— Our society meets 
every Monday night," 

Gentlemen, there is an answer to I his, frotn 
a person of the name, I think, of 1 avcll, who 
is chairman of the Friends of the Tcoplc in 
Smithwark : he says—*' I duly received your 
letter, containing the resolutions of tlie Lot^ 
don Corresponding Society — which I liave 
communicated to our society in the borough— 
and I am directed to return them the thanka of 
thai society, and to assure them tlie^' shall cof- 
diaily unite uiih them, and all similar socio- 
ties throughout the kingdom, in endeavouring 
to elTect those great objects ibr which they 
are as^svciated — namely, to engage the atten- 
tion of their fcilow-cititens to examine the 
general abuses of government, and to exercise 
Qieir dchberative wisdom m a calm but intra- 
pid manner in applying those remedies.*' — 
This is in April ; and in August they express- 
ly tell you, that there was to be no remedy 
from parliament — " in applying those rensc* 
dies which the country at urge may ultimate- 
ly require — and they siucerely agree with you 
in hoping that the loug-neglccted rights of 
man wdl be restored, not only in this countryp 
but in every part of the globe where man may 
dwell. — Wc shall very aoon transmit you a 
copy of our i " - n, and hope for your 

A letter and ^vsv^uuv/us from the Ecvutu' 

303] S5 GEORGE III. 

tion and Constitutional Societies at Norwich, 
dated 26th of April 1799, were read ^t the 
meeting of the society for Constitutional In- 
fonnation, on the 4th of May following : thej 
distinctly state — that Mr. Paine's books were 
to he the iiiediiim, through which the preju- 
dices that had grown up under the British 
govern men t were to be g«t rid of, and the 
ConstitutionalSocictY return them their thanks 
in these words— **1 his society receives the 
above communication with the mo&t heartfelt 
satisfaction, and desires earnestly to concur 
and co-operate with those societies in their 
laudable objects ; that the secretary do inform 
them of the same, and that this society has 
unanimously elected the twelve members of 
the Norwich societies to be associated mem- 
l>ers of this society." 

Upon the 11th of May 1792, the Constitu* 
tlonai Society resolved, that there should be a 
oommunkation from thai society with the so- 
ciety of the Frieads of the Constitution at Pa*- 
ris, known by the name of Jacobins : they 
send an address to them, which is in these 
"words-*'' Brothers and fellow-citizens of the 
world — 

« The cordial and affectionate reception 
with which you have honoured our worthy 
countrymen, Mr. Thomas Cooper, and Mr. 
James Watt, members of the society of Man- 
chester, anil united with our society, has been 
communicated to us by the correspondence of 
those gentlemen. 

^In ofiering you our congratulations on the 
Ijlonous revolution which your nation has ac- 
codiplished, we speak a language which only 
siBcerity can dictate. 

<< The formality of courts affords no exam- 
ple to us : to do our thoughts justice, we give 
to the heart the liberty it delights in, and 
hail you as broUiers. 

^ It is not among the least of the revolu- 
tions which time is unfolding to an astonished 
world, that two nations, nursed by some 
wretched craf\ in reciprocal liatrcd, should no 
suddenly break their common odious chain, 
and rush into amity. 

** The principle that can produce such an 
effect is the ofl^pring of no earthly court ; and 
whilst it exhibits to iib the expensive iniquit^- 
of former politics, it enables us with bold feli- 
city to say we have dune with them. 

*' In contemplating the political condition of 
nations, we cannot conceive a more diaboli- 
cal system of government than that which has 
been generally practised over the world, to 
feed the avarice, and gratify the wickedness 
of ambition ; the fraternity of the human race 
has been destroyed, as if the several nations 
of the earth had been created by rival gods — 
man has not considered man as the work of 
one creator. 

'<Tlie political institutions, under which he 
has livea, have been counter to whatever re- 
ligion he professed. 

** Instead of tliat universal bonevoleace, 
whkh thr iy of every known religion 


Trkl ^Thomas Hardt/ 


declares, he has been politically bred to con- 
sider his species as his natural enemy, and to 
describe virtues and vices by a geographical 

^* The principles we now declare are not pe- 
culiar to the :»oekty th-U addresses you; they 
are extending themselves with accuniulatiog 
force Uirough every part of our coiuitry, and 
dorive strength irom an union of causes, 
which no other principles admit 

"The religious friend of man, of every deno- 
mination, records them as his own ; they ani- 
mate the lover of rational liberty, and they 
cherish the heart of tlie poor, now bending un- 
der an oppression of taxes, by a prospect of 

'< We have against us only that same ene* 
my, which is the enemy of justice in all coun- 
tries, a lierd of courtiers fattening on the spoil 
of the public. 

It would have given an addidonal triumph 
tck our congratulations, if tlie equal rights of 
man, which are tlie foundation oi your 
declaration of rights, had been recognised by 
the governments around ^oii, and tranquillity 
establishes! in all ; but, if despotisms be stiil 
reserved to exhibit, by conspiracy and combi- 
nation, a further example of infamy to future 
ages, that power that disposes of events, best 
knows the means of making that example 
finally beneficial to his creatures. 

" We have beheld your peaceable principles 
insulted bv despotic ignorance ; we have seen 
the right hand of fellowship, which you hold 
out to the world, rejected oy those who riot 
on its plunder ; we now behold you a nation 
provoked into defence, and we can see no 
mode of defence equal to that of establishing 
the general freedom of Europe. 

'^In this best of causes we wish you suc- 
cess; our hearts go with you; and in sa^'ing 
this we believe we utter the voice of millions.^' 

Gentlemen, this address was signed by the 
chairman of the Constitutional Society, and 
transmitted to Mr. Watt, at Paris ; and, upon 
the 28th of May 1792, was ordered to be pub- 

After this, the principles of Mr. Paine, 
which, you observe, contain the doctrines that 
I have been statins to you, were carried far- 
ther in a third book (I mean in that book 
called the Address to the Addressers, which I 
sliall also be able to give in evidence to you) : 
Mr. Paine having there gone the length of as- 
serting the folly, absurdity, and wickedness of 
the government, under which we live — not 
only of asserting the incompetency of govern- 
ment, as it is constituted, to change itself, but 
having asserted that a conventionary repre- 
sentation of the people, in that sense in which 
we speak of it, must do this work, he pro- 
ceeds to the extent of stating the plan and 
form of an organization of that sort, upon 
which the convention was to be framed. 
. Gentlemen, it was impossible not to apply t» 
the justioeof the hiw, against the attack made 
.upon our govenuncnt by the penon who 


fir IKgh Treaam- 

A. D. 1794. 


tl^lB^HIIitll T atu now staling, viriih 
te ftpf^robtttknit puMV^IkmI over ana over 

itL'''~ "*''^""" "ocieties, who, in ihcif corpo- 
ra I I miiY 9o spciik, could not be 
I ^iuin^ it— il betamn necessary 
V of lhi8 rdnnlrv, whether these 

41 rr^ to li* tiihrated— what is the 
It is, that these socie* 

iia', r into 5.uh**criptiont* for 

Ihc support nf Mr i';iine, a»d ihey consider 
tbetntclves as et\u;a^e<1 in propagating his 
yi^rkM ill thai wuy, in which no work tvir was 
prapagftied — to the intenr to prudiue that 
flWIvwition, vrilhoul which tht: rjatjon, in no 
orgAnismtJon of its govcrnmenl, cuuki he »iu'rd, 
according to them, to oist in a stale of tree* 
ikHB tfl a nation. 

*1 to 

loc rxr^ilixuti ui ui*.' nii"* i i)f:-i tli.iii v*-r> jhitttu* 

edl,llief becafne ntorc mi^chicvons ; an<l you 
•ill (h>^^ -"-^'T'^^'^f^ ''irtinij from the society^ 
tf}»fts^ IN tiiJit they nieiint to 

detifos Mlotlhe country; that 

tticy t 'C, stay among them ; 

mtii to V IS, a* far as appears from 

my iHtVprmatign that I have had, they did not 
comicicend to exphiui themselves— to say, 
; K«, you huve mist u ken our object — this is 
sot wbat UT mean ; but they leave them un- 
m ufffp d y and go on to execute ilic purposes 
► aliotit. 

olutions in order to 

pro^cciitlons, they 

v*-^ ■''<'- ..oka 

^ in 

if I miv so sar, them- 



fv premium for 

itions are*?ei\t 

•i vai ious places, in hun- 

-1 am fiorry to say, to 

i>ns,to diHribute— I am 

Hf the mo*t ^flrrrd pro- 

sprcad the effect of the mischief more 
widely and diffubely than otherwise they could 
have done. 

Upon tlie 94th of May tT9^, there is a let- 
ter sent from Mr. Hardy, I believe not in hitj 
own hand-writing, but I believe in the hand 
writing of Mr, Vaughan» whom I before nant4 
cd to yon, in which he slates, that, by the diJ 
reclion of the London rorresponifing Society^ 
he had the honour uf enclosing la them a 
copy of their address and regulations^ which 
he requests they will commnn irate to tlie 
Constitutional Society. The thanks of the so- 
ciety wf re given to them for ihiii ; and that 
is a publication moi*e guarded Ihan anothcf 
you will find published upon the Oih of Au- 
gust l?9'2. 

After stating their rnnslitulion» which I be-- 
fore mentioned to yoti, ilsa^'s — ** But, as Pro- 
vidence has furnishctl men m every station 
with faculties necessary lijr judging of what 
concerns themselves, ^hall wc, liic multitude, 
suffer a few, with no better t ight than our- 
selves, to u^iurp the power of froverning us 
without control? Surely not : let us rather 
unite in one common cause to cast away our 
bondage, \mn^ av^^nrcd, that in so doing wc 
are protected hy a jtttv uf our countryinenp 
while we are th a duly to our&dvcs, 

toourcotmtry, ivkind." 

Gentlemen, yun wil! hnd from a paper of 
the 6ih of August, that that, which ihey 
supposed was tn meet with pio^eclion from a 
jury of the country, was a ctra'>ination to re* 
form the govertin' ' 

mean<i — other lh;u3 i; 

which binds Ici^^i'ln t, v Hi, .ur ri.i^,ui 'iHi 

great puliliral body of the country, the whole 
system under whiLh we live. 

Gentlemen, tlic London Correspondin:; >^o- 
cicty, as to the kini^'s proclamation, foiluwcd 
the estanipic of the Constitutional Society^ 
and, on tha 31st of May, IT"*^, in a papcf 
thai will be read to you, Ihey vilify the pro- 
elamation ; and this paper having fieen com- 
municated by the I.(>Tidon Corresponding So- 
ciety to the Constitutiomil Stjeiety — 1^^^ 
nwarc of the nature of it, order, ' t 

paper should he publi^lied insueh i 

/A/ receive the advert iofuienlA oi Tr,is -.o* 
\ — They wrre pretry well aware that 
lijt V were of such a nature as made it sorae- 
what hazardous to publish them. 

You will find a Ictr^T, d.itod the t4th of 

,Tune, J71>2» from rcrtain persons styling 

themselves the Fditurs of ll»e Patrrot {\\>hn 

they are I am not able to *tate to you, but 

whu, fjf the ^nirpOHCs of these socirhr-, 

! necessjuy lo cotrrcal their natues), 

h they de-iire the Corresponding 

* {y to take an <ipporluntlY of enbghl- 

/»li* pttfktir mind bv pubbratton^^ by 

I .5 



BuGiit Dart of this biisiDesa — a Mr. Otflei a 

pookseiler at Sheffield, 
Gcijtkmcn, tliere will be laid before you 
&anoii» parts of theproceediogsof ihcConsti- 
ltiilionul bocielVi which relate to Mr- Paine, 
rahich I shall now pass over^ except for the 
purpose ol" calling your attention to another 
publication of hi& upon the sixth of June, 
17t^2, and wliich was addressed to Mr* Dun- 
das, ^ou will likewise hnd that that book, 
which will be given you in evidence, dis* 
tinctly disavows all hereditary governtnetii ; 
all monarchy, under whatever guahfications ; 
and then, tor the purpose of circulating this 
doctrine^ as they had before circulated the 
doctrines in other v^orks of this gentleman, 
_ "bey order, ** that twelve thousand copies of 
that letter shall be printed for the society, for 
the purpose of being transmitted to our cor- 
respondents thrcrtighuut Great Britain, and 
that a committee be appointed to direct the 

Gentleniea, I pass on now to the 6ih of 
August, 1 792 ; at which time there appears to 
me to have been an extremely miportant 
transaction in ihc London Corresponding So- 
ciety ; it is the propagation of an address of 
that date, which first developes^ as it seems 
to me, though in somewhat ot covert lan- 
guage, the determination of these societies to 
orfc what they call a reform without any 
^mmunication whatever with that parlia- 
ment, which ihey held to be incompetent to 
bring about the buUness. 

You will find that, upon the 8th of August, 
Mr* Hardy wrote a letter to Mr. Tuokc; that 
he seothim a proof copy of tliis address ; tiiat 
lie hoped it would merit his allcntion, and 
his approbation; that he should he exceed- 
ingly hap[>y to be favoured with his opinion 
ufit befure it was printed. 

The address, after stating what they consi- 
dered a^ the gritvunct'S of llie country, states 
this — ** Such being the forlorn situation vi' 
|hree fourths of the nation, how are Britons 

obtain inrormalion and redress ? Will the 

iirt, wdl ministry afifurd either? Will par- 
liament grant them ? Will the nobles or the 
clergy ea^ic llio people's sufferings? No, 
Experience tflU us, and proclamations con- 
firm it, that the interest and intention of power 

e combined to keep the nation in torpid 

then states the only resource to hr in 
societies ; it then states vnnous detailed 
_, ^us, which vou will hear, and then pro- 
ceeds to this effect i 

** Numerous nthor rffnrm^ woiiltl ua- 

loublcdty take , ^ion 

lail lament - ty on 

dcctgrs the pet^plc ; untoru therefore 

;l»on, undivided by p-^^^y* uucorru[*tcd 

ny ininiHtry, and in I but by the 

lublic goo<h Ta'ci) li would tend 

reform^ and a strict tcuiiomy, its natural 

consequence, might soon enable us to itducc 

btir Uxesj aad by the integrity d'pirliamexity 

Trial ofThomai Hardy 


Ihal reduction would light upon mich object* 
as best might relieve the poor; this lo the 
people would prove an advantageous and a 
novel session, and to an lionest parhameni 
not a tiresome one* 

*' Therefore, Britons, friends, and fellow* 
citizens, with hand and heart unite, claim 
what is your right, persevere and be free, for 
who shall dare withstand our just demands? 
Oppression, already trembling at the voice of 
individuals, will shrink away and disappear 
for cvpr, wlicn the nation united shall assert 
Its privileges and demand their rei^loration/* 

Gentlemen, the address you will find wa^ 
circulated willi intinito industry to every cor- 
responding society in the king^dom, conveyed 
through e\ery pos^ihle channel, the doctrioe^. 
adopted by all the at&liating sycielics; and 
the plan, which they went upon from ibi» 
6th of August, 1792, appears to have been a 
plan to redres^ themselves by their owa 
power, and by their own strength, and not 
by application to that parliament^ wbict\ 
alone can act in legislation : it seems to me 
to be impossible that you c^n mistake what 
is meant by this paper, if you will give your 
more particular attention to a paper whicK 
was received from a society at Stockport, 
upon the 'i?th of November, 179^, and found 
in the possession of Mr. Hardy : this, »fter 
adverting to those numerous grievances stated 
in the address of the 6th of August, 1792, 19 
to this effect : 

*< In obedience to the wishes of the soeiety 
here, I have (he pleasure of acknowledging 
the lionour of your letter, and the packet, 
which tile kindness of our brothers of the 
l-ondon Corresponding Society so opportunely 
presented us witlh 

'* It is doubly deserving our thanks, as ll 
shows your kindness, and as it will be useful 
in the formatiou of our infant society ; we 
\ stand mucli in need of your experience jq 
thivparticular, and we doubt not of your beat 
assistance; we arc surrounded by a majorityy 
a formidable one indeed in power, abilities, 
mid numbers, but we are not dismayed. 
' " We have carclully perused the addresses, 
and I am to observe upon their conteats id 
general, that the sentiments hardljr arise to 
that heigia which we oicpect/rowim^i^iwi&i^ 
to their full claim* ta ah»olute ant! uncontrol-' 
labk tiberti^^ i. e. unuccoutUabte to an^ potttr 
p'ltkh lAry have ni>t itimudiatdy coHttUuied 
and uppmnird^ 

^ These are our sentiments, whatever may 
be yours; though, in the present state of po* 

litical knowledge, it Itnv h(^ nntrlrtit ru*t to 

avow ihcm opeuly, \ u- 

rnents on tlie means r , al 

object, which we presume you ha^*c la 
view in cummon with 115 ; we think it rxtio- 
dient that wo tl id 

each otljcr in the L r* 

aiire of disunion imgUt luiiu.h m;ittci of 
triumph to our enemies; we observe one ex- 
pression/'— yoa will taite notice that Mr. 

Kardj •t this time Avas a member both of the 
Loniion CurrcsponJing andthcCon&lilutional 
.^ -" we obscne one expression, 

V. ,* mimeroua other reforms would 

/ &c. &c. ; but we ask how is 
li uienl lo be chosen? CanwecT- 

m(<t U Jrvm the pretent order of things f 
Wo4f14 not nil the evil be done away at once 
I dtion f Does 

ii IS laws which 

we tutimiriiri of, win i.r anon^hed any olher 
wty ? Can the Rrievances arising from aris- 

irr^' I while the re- 

rity in the leEcislature ?" 

»li..- ....... i«» to be filled up with 

crown or the Uon^e of Lords is for jori lo 
Mjd^e—** retains its present authority m the 
lep«lature ? Is tlic universal right of con* 
stlrncf' ever lo be attained while the B — — 
r its on the 

as on llicse important poifits 
\ iitblly desire may be transmitled 

t II as possible^ not directed a<5 the 

1. ibi'j you will find often occurs ; 

under a feigned direction ; "we 

i port >. M ^ay of the address 
the 6ih ul Aui^ostj ii v*\ sent ?otbem, that 
Ihcy ibink it hardly amounts to sentiments 
mth aft theirs, namely, thai tliey must h^ve 
absolute and uncontrollable liberty, unuc- 
rrtJiii.iMf* In ;iiiv pnwpr wluch lliev liave not 
d— that tould not be 
mienl of <JrfHt Brltuin — 
V SS e presume yon have the same 

tw iimon wiih us and we desire to 

r jieiilimctu* upon the means of ac- 
iif»2 th'it object.** What object f 
-' ihcniselves in a sttua- 
unlable lo any power, 
'1 not immediately 
how was that to 
ij«: uuiir by parharnent ? 
Tlie ftddres^ of the Olli of August tiad dis- 
,r .. .r to i,|« (^Qj^e iiy parli;imen»* 
liie other* parts of the 
1 .: situation in the Irgijsla- 
ineyou hat^e the same ob- 
a you think upon this occa- 
was ihe occasion, ufxm which 
of the 6th of Auiiu^l ought to 
licd, if Ibcy meant to disavow 
y such object ; but what is 



ibm afis^ti .'- - 1 he answer In eft'ect is : That 

l«U and f^iif rr^prr^entiition uf the people that 

^ ■ i which IS to be the 

tmcnt of removing 

CT. iiioour under, though 

Td< Miit us to spciik all we 

** ^ a the London Cor- 

ftgpotiC.^ itrr r ti' rifled your 

lltltr; IJir 1) steady 

taamiiiaij -,topur- 

mm iJtuX mil 1 1? iicity^ a per- 

iaeirrpftat!! /' 

Mwrn, wlifti wiiA Uitt b<Aii meaoa of ihia 

political felicity — a perfect representation of 
the people? — It was the formation of a power 
by liie people making Ihemselves unaccount* 
able to any other power, to any power but 
that which they hau immediately ibcmsclvcs 
constituted, namely, an assembly by a conven- 
tion of the people. Then, why Jo not tlicy 
speak out? They say, "With regard to our 
publications, our sentiments arc expressed in 
as strong terms as prudence will permit, yet 
plain enough to convince the public^ that, 
while we e\petl every thing frfim an honesi 
and an itnnual parlikiment,*'- — a body might 
exist undt:r the term parliament in a com- 
monwealth, as well a| under a king — " no- 
thing !.h<irt of such a senate^ chosen by Ihc 
whole nation, will satisfy ns. 

" True generosity, the characlerislic of this 
nation, and of all unpervcrted men thnnghout 
the j^lobe, catimg upon tis to countenance at 
this juncture I Tie arduous stniggK? of tlie 
French nation igainsl despolifsrfi and aristo- 
cracy, those foes to the human nice, we have 
resolved upon addressing ihe French NaUonal 
Convenliun/* You will permit me lo observe, 
this was upon the 11th of October 1799: the 
king of Franco was deposed in effect upon the 
loth ' ^ - t 179'i, This pas«iage, in the 
Iran this society, appears to me i 

bepLc_,.._. .T w.irlhy your attention, ** WilhJ 
out entering into the probable effects of such 
a measure, e dec Is, which your society will nol" 
fail lo discover, wc invite you lojoin us; and 
lo that end, herewith you have a copy of our 
intended a<Ulresa ; if you approve the idea, 
and will concur in sending it, be pleased to 
return us without delay, a copy signed bjj" 
your president: we will then associate you 
budy wHth ours, and with some others, who 
have already absented lo the measure : if, on* 
tl>c contrary, you disapprove that mark of zeal 
tuwards the only nation that has hitherto un- 
d*Tfaken to restore to mankind its just righlf-' 
plca-<elo communicate to us yourohjections. 
This wiLs upon Itic llth of October \792; upotl 
the 6th of October 1795, Mr, Barlow (who» 
name occurs hefure with res pec I to his public 
cation relative to the privileged orders) write 
a letter lo the society for Consiilulional In* 
Ibrmation, accumpanied with a book, Cidled 
" Advice to the National Convention oil 
France ;" an^l von will l>e pleased lo observe 
that Mr. Darfuw, and a Mr Frost* after 
wards, in the month of Nuvember, were sent 
with an address from the ConBtilutional *So- 
cicty lo Paris, as their delegates fur that ptir- 
posc. The letter of Mr, Barlow is in tliese 
words : 

" I have lately published a sm'ill treatise 
under the title of * A Letter to the Naliona 
« Convention of France, on the Defects of the 

* Constitution of 1791, and the extent of the 

• Amendmi^iits which ought to be applied t' 
although the observations contained In this 

• See Ills trial for Seditious Word*, antL 
Vol 32, p. ^n. 



letter arc tnum particuLiIy apphc^tbie to the 
French nation in ilic present crisi*5 q( its go- 
vernment, jet, as the true principles of so- 
ciety are every where tlie same, their examina- 
tion ciiuncit be unseasonable in any nation, or 
at any lime; believing, iheretbrcj that the 
ftiibjccl of this ireali&c will not he thought 
fureJgn to the great object of your association, 
I present a copy of h to you with the same 
coufidente as I tjave done lo the Nalion^il 
Convcntn.'n, aii'' ' ' ^^ ^utional SocJttty 
at Londun, a c«> from the full 

per&uafei on thill Lur >m u. m j<juiiJed in truth 
and reason. 1 lukc the hbcriy at the i>»uic 
lime to i»tnd you a copy^l another pnhlicalron, 
JDlituM * Advice iv Privileged Orders. ' The 
jjresent dispobilion in Europe towards ri gene* 
ral rev ohi lion in the printiplc^ otgoverDmeiiL 
ih founded in the current ot opiniun, too power- 
fkk] to he resisted, us well W6 loo sacred to be 
treated Avilh neglect; and it h the duty of 
every individual lo assist, not only in rentov- 
ing ihc ohstrucliuns th^t are found in the w^y 
of ibif) revoluUon, hut in ascertaining, with as 
iTim h precision as possible, tlie nature of the 
object to lie aimed at, and the coneequente lo 
Lij exfiecied from the attainment: it \b tiljove 
ail things to be desired, that the cunvietJou^ 
lo he 4u;qvrired frooi national discui^ision 
should prrcede and preclude those which muH 
result froni physical exertion.*' 

I»*ow, ^vou will give me leave tostalft to you 
vtlvAi the doctrine is m this book, for which 
ihc Soti*ny for Constitutional Information, 
3Vln Hardy ihcn a nien»ber of it, thank Mr, 
Barlow, make him an honorary member, and 
afterwards <teputc liim to the National Con- 
vention of France. 

, Gentlemen, the docliine, I can explain it lo 
^ Qu generally, without troubling you by read- 
ing particular passages, amoiiuls to this : Mr. 
BhtIow* after slatmg the principles of e<juul 
n ': •' (uship, which found Iheir way into 
ijtion of France in 17^1, and which 

System of thai . 

, which I 
• It ; thit it 
IH-iA oi th- 

<js to be th( 

king a part uf the 
t, informs them of 



ie*,whicii he mider* 
" of lliose to whom 

tiii vvaa wrilin-;; tiut U is impossible they 
ftkonlil consist wUhUus s<'nlinKnl,/Artf a king 
%mhi Ik rctttihtd in tnU ; tinil the 

onstitulion w;ia at ^ 

Ithose xvliM - luni iK>t (I 

Dr, havuj id it, th* 

iiHifc was " ' "' 

luce the < 

itself: that 
^ that, 
1 the 

.l^mUI re- 

.- lirll.rn 

-doctnnp Rsnn 

Trml of Thomas Haritf [3|2 

papers, which t am about to read \6 yoai 4 
great deal oi evidence will be laid before you, 
to prove that they had beat up all the cotintry 
for letter** and addresses to express the same 
principles lo France, uol on accunnt of ihe 
cause of France, but of the cause of Eng- 
land, and with a view to intruduce the same 
etfects into England. I shall state but two of 
these addresses, because ihey seem to con- 
tain the eA'ect of all the rest that were aciu^ 
ally sent 

the l/JiKJon Corroi^ponding Society iirst of 
all communicated lo the Const!: '^ So. 
cicty, in the month of Cklobcr 17 a- 

leation ♦** vn,„i.n,r ^n v.iJ.,=.^tt xq i ........ uie 

Constiti ppfove thq pur- 

pone : L. ^ ^ .„^ I iL It aims at, luiU 

they dctcrmme not to concur in the SiOiie 
address, but to send a separate addrc:^^; and 
in their paper you may see the prmciples of 
bath lo be principles, which were rxprc?$cd 
for the very purpose of aiding t^ a- 

tion of the societies in excluding ti< m 

the government of the country, aiid ui raiding 
a republic. This is the icUer ; 

** Frenchmen, while forcii;n robljert are ra- 
vaging your territories umler the specious pre<* 
tc xt oF justice, cruelty and desokti r : ' - ^ : in 
their van^ pertidy and treachery up 

the rear, yet mercy and frienrl- * ^ " i ]y 

held fort li to the wurld as tl> of 

their incursions; the opprct - .. ^ ,.: l .., .i..ui- 
kind*' — that is. Great Britain — ♦■ forgetting 
for a while tlietr own sutlt rings, teel only for 
yours, and with an iniiious eye watch the 
event, fiTveolly supplicating the Almighty 
Huler of ihe universe to be (avouruble to your 
caufce, so intimately blended wjth their own," 
— that catise which upon th^ loth of August 
had exclutled the king from the jB^ovemment 
of the country— ** fro ^VK " i s» 

sivc 5v*tlcin uf control, u- 

linued cncruuclmuiut'} i>;ivt^ orjinvru lut^ ;m* 
tiou of nearJy all its boasted liberty, and 
brought us almo^ Ui that abject state of 
slavery, from which yuu have so emerged ; 

hill jll 

ihi' ' ; ^ ■ — -^ ,ne 

conduct ul tiiusiMU p^wi^r; it 

to be th*i duly of Unions tu :ii4 

assist, to Hjc utmost of their power, lin' tiiaiiw 
pioiks of human happiness^ and to swear to % 
nation, proceeding on tho plan you bftve 
adopted, an inviolable friendships S^cr^d 
\ Irum III! ' ' *' f V ' ' ■ ^^ 

and Ul I t ft 

take tJ+L .,t. M »> liu ijfJiL'itju I ^Huii iiut'm^ii lo 
cause a ru|4urc, 

•* Tlun^h we appear so few :H - — *, be 

iicliuien, that our n. 

if !»■ trii< - tlivt I |ta, 

hi ltd urui q\ 
tht? timid: '' 

4f^ ^^JLiW'Ai^- 

I'i^i^ ^l\h Uc [ si^mc dii^l ou itic imui^iy «t^d qq iheMiobi* 

for High Treason. 

tious; btit whb certainly we can inform you, 
frieads and freemen, that information iimkes 
a r*pid progress aniDug ua; curiosity has taken 
posse&sitm of the pubTie mind ; the conjoint 
reigu ofignuraiice and despotism pas^^es swsy; 
lutli now «ik each other, What is freedom? 
what are our rights? Frenchmen^ you arc 
already i\ec, and IJnton^ i4re preparing to be- 
cume bO; casting f^r from us the criminal 
prejudices artfully inculcated by cvil-nunded 
men aiid \vily courtiers, we, iii^ilead uf natural 
enemies, at length diwover in Frenchmen our 
feiJow-cilizen^- of the world, and our brethren 
by the 6amc heavenly tather, who treated us 
for the purpose of loving and mutually asaisl- 
iag each other, but not to hale» and to be ever 
ready to culeuch o*her*s Lliroats at the com- 
mand of weak and ambition? kiiigs, and cor- 
rupt ministers; seeking our real enemies, 
we find them in our bosoms, we tcel ourselves 
inwardly torn hy and ever the victim of a 
re^tle^s and all consuming aristocracy, hi- 
therto the bane of every uaVton under the Mm ; 
\«i5ely have you acted in expelling it from 

" Warm as our wijilies are -for yotir success, 
eager as we are in liehoM frecdoiu iriumphaut, 
and man every where rcsiored to -the enjoy- 
Uient of his just righljs a senile uf our duty» asi 
oi^ ' i■en^, forbids our frying in arms to 
y tnce : ourswernment has pledged 

tl ' Miiil in a 

&i in, Hri- 

lrust<id our king with di&crelionmy powrr*^; 
vc therefore mu%l obey : our hand-* are 
bounds hut our hearts arc fiee^ and they are 
«viih von, 

** i.ct German depots act as they please, 
«re bhait rejuice at their fall; compa^sionat- 
iog however their cni> laved .subjects, we hope 
ihife tyranny ot their nia'itcrs will prove the 
Moamft of reinstitting in the hiU enjoyment of 
tiieir rights and liberties miUiun:& of our fciluw- 

** With unconcern therefore we view the 
^iector of Hanover,** — that is, the kin;; of 
SB* cat BritiiD—jom his troops to traitors and 

IYobher^ ; but the king of Great Britain will do 
veil to remember, that this country is not Ha- 
tti^vcr. Should he forget this dtstuictton, we 
'ftiW not. 

*' While you enjoy ilie envied glory of 
bcinjc the unaided dcfcndtT^ of freedom^ we 
fondly anticipate in idea tiie numerous bless- 
ings manklfid will enjoy ; if you succeed, as 
w« ardently ^vi^ih, the triple alhance (not 
ef crqams, hut) uf the ptople of America 
J^ance^ and Btttmn, w til give freedom to Eu- 
l^pe, and peace to the whole world. Dear 
^eods you combat for the advantage of the 
limnan race; how well purcliased wiU be, 
though at the expense of much bloody the glo- 
iiotis unprecedented privilepe of Baying,— 
Mankind is free : tyrants anti tyranny are no 
moTt : peace reigns on the earth, and tliie b 
tlie work uf Frenchmen.'' 

Gentlemen, this address, which was sent by 
that society, was followed by anotiricr fronj 
the Society for Constitutional Informatimiy 
upon the 9th of November 1792, which &ecni& 
likewiae to state their principles, 

** Servants of a sovereign people^ and bene- 
factors of mankiiid ;-^ 

" We rejoice that your revolution has ar- 
rived at that point of perfection which will 
permit us to address you by this title/'— Ser- 
I vantsof a sovereign people. That is not the 
character of a British eovernment ; this is the 
I prmciple of the Southwark resolutions— "it 
I is the otttjf tme which can accord with the 
' character of true legislators* Ever^- succes* 
I sive epoch in your atmirsha^ added something 
to the triumphs of liberty and the glorimts 
•victory of the 10/A of Augmt has finaTly pre- 
pared the way for a constitution, which we 
trust you will establish on the basis of reason 
and nature/' Mr. Barlow had in effect said 
and they had made him an tionorary member, 
and bad transmitted their address by his 
hands), that lui constitution could reform 
upon the ba^is of reason and nature^ that left 
a king in the government, liowever the go« 
vemment was modified. 

They pioiccd thus in their address^ 

*^ Considerij»g the mass of delusion, accumu^ 

luled on mankind to obscure their understand-* 

I ingr^, you cannot he astonished at the oppo- 

• sitLoa, that yo4i liave met both from tyrants 

I and from shivcs ; the instrument used against 

j you by each of these classes is th^ same, for, 

nt the genealogy of human miseries, ignorance 

it) at once th(' parent of oppression and the 

child of subnusiiuu. 

** The evenly of every day are proving, that 
your cause is chct ishecl by the people in all 
your continental vicinity : that a majority 
of each of thoi^e nations are your real friends, 
whose govvrimuats have tutored them into 
apparent foes ; and that they only wait to 
be delivered by your arms from the dreadftd 
necessity of hi^liimg against Ihcm. 

" TiiE condition of Englishmea b less to 
be deplored ; here U»c hand of oppression has J 
not yet ventured completely to ravish the I 
pen from us^ nor openly to point the sword at 

They then go on to say : — " From bosoms 
burning with ardour in your cause, we tender 
you our warntef^t wishes for the full esitent of 
Its progress arul success ; it is indeed a sacred 
cause ; wc cherish it as the pledge of yotrr hap- 
piness, oiu" natural and nearest triends, and we 1 
rely upon it as the bond of fraternal union 1 
to the human race, in which union our own 
nation will surely be one of the first to concur, 
** Our government has still the power and 
perhaps the mciioation to employ hirelings 
to contradict us; but it is our real opinion, 
that we now speak the sentiments of a great 
majority of the English nation. The people 
Ikere are wearied with imposture, and worn 
out with war, they have leamad to reflect 
that both tbe one itad tb& ta?L\x^\ ^^ ^^ ^'- 




Trial of Thomas Hardy 


sprinc or unnatural combinations in society, 
an relative to nystenis of government, not 
the result of tlie natural temper of nations as 
relative to each others happiness. 

" (io on, lofcislHtors in the work of human 
happinesy; the benefit will in part be ours, 
but the glory shall be all your own ; it Is the 
reward of your perseve nincc, it is the prize of 
virtue, the sparks of liberty preserved in Eng- 
land for a«;es, like the coruscations of the Nor* 
them Aurora, serving but to show the dark- 
ness visible in the rest of Europe. The lustre 
of the American republic, like an effulgent 
morning, arose with increasing vigour, but 
still too distant to enlichten our hemisphere, 
till the splendour of the French revolution 
burst fortn upon the nations in the full fervour 
of a meridian sun, and displayed," — attend to 
the words — " in the midst o? the Einxipean 
world the practical result of principles, which 
philosophy had sought in the shade of specu- 
lation, and which experience must every 
where confirm," — the principles of Mr. Paine, 
wIm) went over to form one in that convention, 
the existence of which shows the practical re- 
vult of those principles, which philosophy had 
sought, and which experience was to confirm 
^t dispels the clouas of prejudice from all 
people, reveals the secrets of^all despotism, 
and creates a new character in man. 

"In tliis career of improvement, your ex- 
ample will be soon followed; for nations, 
rising from their lethargy, will rechim the 
rights of man with a voice which man cannot 

iientlemcn, it will not be matter of surprise 
to you, that letters, such as these to the Na- 
tional Convention in France, should have pro- 
duced opinions in that country respecting the 
attachment of individuals in this to their go- 
vernment. It is not therefore very extraordi- 
nary, that, upon the llUh of November 179C, 
that famous dwri'c passed of fraternization 
with all subjiH'ts in all countries who chose to 
resist the governments under which ihcy live; 
but 1 think you will Ih^ surprised that any 
men could receive in this country, and reai 
with approbation, and enter upon their pro- 
ceedings, the answers whieh these addresses 
brought from Fr.uiee, and whieh were read in 
the presence of the prisoner at the bar, with- 
out lieing astouislied that they did not at 
least tike some means to reject from them 
the imputation that they meant in their own 
country, all ihat these answer* suppose they 
mean, and all that these answers piomisc to 
astist them in aceomplishing. 

You will find. \\\\}\\ the Tlih of December 
179v.\ that a letter from the S.Kiely of the 
Friends of Ijberty and Equality, Mtting at 
Laon. the head of the department of the Aikne, 
to tlie TaUiotic Society of IxuMlon, cmlM the 
Society for CimstitulioDal lnliiniiatioo» is iMd, 
and reiemd to Ibnr GqommIIm of Omm- 
pondenoB: H ki»«li— ~-^»»/KTte8»- 

the Aisncv to the Patriotic Society of London, 
called the Society for (Constitutional Informa- 
tion. — Generous republicans, the philanthro- 
pic gifk that you have presented to the war- 
riors of France" — they had sent some shoes, 
and were at that time thinking of giving them 
some arms — " announces with energy the great 
interest that you take in the sacred cause 
which they are defending. Accept the thanks 
of a society that docs honour to itself in 
esteeming you. The time perhaps is not far ■ 
distant, when the soldiers of our liberty shall 
be able to testify their gratitude to you: then : 
their arms, their blood itself, shall be at the 
service of all your fellow-citizens, who, like 
you, acknowledge no rights but the rights 
of man; then France and^England shall form 
together a treaty of union as lasting as the 
course of the Seine and the Thames ; then 
there, as here, there shall exist no other reign 
but that of liberty, equality, and friendship. 
May this day of felicity and glory soon shine 
upon the horizon of two nations formed to ad- 
mire each other !" 

(lentlemen, they then enter upon the mi- 
nutes of the society another letter, from 
another fraternizing society, — whether one of 
those societies which the>' speak of in the be- 
ginning of 1792, as affiliating societies in 
France, or not, I do not know;— whether they 
had been assisting to reduce their principles 
into practice 1 do not know ; but it is clear, 
that the affiliating society in France offered 
them their assistance for that purpose. Ac- 
cordingly, you will find that the Society 
of the Friends of Liberty and Kquality, estab^- 
lished at Macon, write to the Constitutional 
Society at London, adverting to what they had 
said in their address to the nation about the 
glorioui^ victor}' of the luth August 1792, the 
circumstances of which shall be described to 
you in evidence, because you will find that 
some of the per«»ons who are charged in this 
indictment (and whose conduct in this con- 
spiracy, \*ill, upon the clearest principles of 
law, atiect all of them) were then present in 
Paris, l hey write thus — ** Ye^, citizens, our 
brethren and friends, the 10th uf August 
1792 shall be distinguished'* — what, in the 
annals of France '— •* distinguished in the 
ann;Lls oftkt aorid, as the day of the triumph 
of lil.erty, our tirst revolution"— (Mr. Joel 
Barlow or Mr. Paine, one should have thought, 
had wivte it>— •• our br^t revolution di J but 
show to US the salutary principles of ti.e im- 
prescriptible rights vt man : all, except the 
taitiiless and "the enemies of humanity, 
adopted them with enthusiasm. It was then 
that we formed ourselves into a society, in 
order the belter to impress them upon our- 
selves, and al'terward^ to te^*h them to our 

** Our &nt constitution had ct^nsecrated 
tbem* but had Bol alwa\*« taken them for its 
Wm I Uw doninion of the pawionss llie foice 
\^ iMRKiMMiof pt^yudkes, and the 
•^ ^-^"^ ci^lpyod ia our Coft- 

for High Tre^mn, 

ititoent Aisiixibl;^, found the secret to preserve 
siilEcieal autbonty to our tvr»nts« to exUn- 
gmsh Atiome time the sacrecf rights of naiur*-, 
jind to re*C3tibh&h de«ipoti&in on its throng of 

** Uut royalty, tlius preserved, was not con- 
tent wtth ihr vji loiv secured lo it by a set of 
weo^ the t l of whom it had cor- 

tlipted. It ^ iticnt to rcan the fruits 

that it appearvd lo promise ilscH; but its 
\m great eugeriies* ha*i hastened its rui»> and 
secured the iriuniph of reason. 

♦* The I'rench, protid of iheirown existence, 
^ ived the fruil of their iirst Jegisla- 

t' ne 6ensibtc of the imperfections of 

I 1 w lUat they uiaoe u surrender 

to iihcrly and (^quality, whirh 

tiic^> ijau cjiiiii.aced ; they rouM?d themselve** 
toeW to demand at knglh laws impartial and 

From thence the necessary day of the 
^f All ij>t 179'i, from thence a second 
revolution* whic!» is onJy the 
El ue fir^l, winch has received 

onryoMrs i*nd uur oaths, and which we will 
Lites for ever, if it leads us^ as we hope it 
utU, lo ih* s of the nation, to the 

constant ui uf hbcrty and equality. 

•* Let iniriguti% tvols> and tyrants, ciil urn- 
oiatcuji; wc de^^pise ihem too much to cou- 
diaocnd lo auswer Ihem^ and seek for their 

" '' ' * -.A : 1 J- trrrsus IS the interest that 
' irs: j^our attention has 

1+ Tdccess of our arms. We 
m, we are proud of your ap- 

* Wc t^ftiiic at the expression of the senti- 
ments ihvit v{ju manifested to our representa- 

A. D. Vtm. 



ifid ui> 
Ufcr tl 
HBldav 1 


^r) a nation of brethren rouse 
The c^u*!e ol huniiinity; we 
li^ti lidupl our [irinciples, 
c sav to eatli other with 
Itey become our allje»; 
', we shall go on ta de- 
n the yoke of tyrants, to 
to reason and nature^ 

' -^'^ -'' :r -, - -, Iv on 


N* »_' Mtti ^i*,wM-, r.. .ii.i.i tOr- 

I who set a higli value 

fioutSodciy oi A 

-»f December 1792, 
NHit iv ol another 
lie, wrote 
I Rcpub- 
kitnlol iite ^!ouths 
ir Society silting at 
lUc, Citizcniit brethren , 
•ndfirti I great nations, acquaint- 

ed mttik lliCH ri^hb-, ftpproxi muted hy their 
fHUiiierdiJ connexions and their national 
iilyEOJOQ. fortned to live ami to act in concert 
wtib e»oa oiIi/QI'» bci^n to forn\ the glorious 
pc^Cd of wn't" ' *i '•: Hvcs for the regenc- 
nlffinofth' *»ne may til en say 
•'ih rciiKi& v..-^ i.-. .,- «.c ripe and ready to 

fftU. How glorbus it will be for France and 
England lo have formed alone a confederacy 
destructive of tyraiits, and to have purchased 
at the price of their blood the liberty of Eu- 
rope ; we may say more, of the whole iiui- 
vcrse I Courage, brethren and friend a ! It is 
for you to follow in the glorious and hazar-* 
dous career of tlie revolution of the world ; 
can you any longer groan under the yoke of a 
government that has nuthing of liberty but 
the nanieP !or, although your land was iiiha->i 
bited before ours by freemen, can you, with- 
out delusion, consider your government as 
such ? Will you content yourselves with a 
partial freedom ? Will the Knghsh be satisfied 
with principles? Will that bold nation, that 
has produced philosophers the most profound, 
and that first of all perceived the sparkling 
rays of tVeedurn, remain a spectatrix in so 
noble a cause ? No, brethren and friends, no I 
you will soon lift yourselves up against that 
perlidious court of St, James's, whol^e interna! 
Jiolicy, like that which found its doom in the 
rhuilleries, has made so many victims in 
onr two nations, and does disunite them per- 
Tjelualjy lo rule over them. Your love for 
liberty tias hxed your attention upon the 
wants of our defenders : your generosity to- 
wards them has a title to the acknowledg- 
ment of the republic; we are impatient lo 
furnish you the s;ime advantages : the Po- 
pular Societies of France desire ardently 
the epoch that shall permit them to address 
their voice to the National Assembly of 
threat Britain, and lo ofier to the soldiers of 
liberty of your nation, arms, bayonets, and 

This* is the private correspondence between 
the societies and the Society for Constitutional 
Inlormation; but some of the persons named 
in this Indictment were present at the serenes 
I am now going to state at the bar of the 
National Convention in France ; others of 
them delivering these sentiments by their 
ambassador Mr. Barlow whose principles you 
have seen, and Mr. Frost, of whom I mu&t 
state it, because I shall prove it. tl^t be baf 
been convicted in ihiscoerr^- ' : 7 fjixm 

that country witii the li ^tog; 

they ofler ihew; addrts:,, ^ ^ ^.„ ..c,uoiuil 
Convention of Ir^mce in tennif tiie 
of which I wdt stale to you «• lir m I 
stand it, to be^ and 1 believe it it »ii 

" Mr. Barlow and Mr. FfW^ CCfMi 
lens, being admittrri to tbe km^tmm ^_ ' 
pronounced tti 
men, the actuii .it! 

be given in evtdciice ; ti« Mile m (bt 
Novembr r ]70at, nine ist^ dhcr ffcc 
thcN K 


COUUIIV tri,tt 

any ol'their 

** Citijcenaof 
the Society for 
Londonj to 


on the triumphs of liberty. This Society had 
laboured iong in the cause with little prospect 
of success previous to the commencemcnl of 
yoMT revolution ; conceive then their extjltu- 
tionaand griititiidc wlkn* b? the aslonishrng 
c0bft» of your natir>n» they b*'lieM the reign 
of reason acquiring an extension am! iolidiiv 
whicli proitiiscd to reward the laVjour of all 
good men, by securing ihe happiness of their 
lellow-crealures. Irinumerabte societies of a 
similar nature arc now forming in every part 
of England, Scotland and Ireliuid; they excite 
» spirit ot universal inquiry into the compli- 
calcd abuses of government, and the simple 
xncans of a reforme After the example wlMch 
Prance has given, the science of revolutions 
will be rendered easy, and the progress of rea- 
son will be rapid, it would not be 5 trail gc 
if, in a period tar short of what we should ven- 
ture to predict, addresses of felicitation j^hould 
cross the sfas to a National Cvnve niton in 
Sn^iand, We are also commissioned to in- 
form the Convention, thai the society which 
\Vf L ' r^ f^ent to the soldirrs of liberty 

a ! ?Ti of a thousand pair of shoes, 

wiiiLii mv. uv LtJis time arrived at Calais; and 
the society will contmue sendini a thousand 
pair a week for al lea.^t six weeks to come ; 
we only wish to know to whose care they 
ought to be addressed," 

Why, Gentlemen, am 1 to be told then, 
thai, in the month of November 179'i, those 
vho, in August 1792 had said they coidd ap- 
ply with no efiecl to parliament, had no idea 
oi such a National Convention in Ent^land as 
that National Convention in France which 
they were addressing, and Irom which 
they were expecting to receive addresses? 

■ Am I to be told that they had no idea ol such 

■ S convention, as should overturn the con- 
F stitution of this country ? It is impossible to 
I put ^uch a const riirlion upon such procecdinfrs. 
I Grntlcfuflu^ you will likewise find that the 
I presidpfjt of the Convention thought it neves- 
L^mry la givn :ir^ ^n^^vor to Ibis adrfieHS. T will 
■B^tc the ss. Tit: It will f>e nud in 

^Hvidenctfs i I shall not lake up timt? 

in looHn^ tor it. The president Cutt^idmng 
tliem -A^ -r.uprous republicans (»r>d well he 
^'■'- what had pa-^^ied), makes an ad- 

d; in, cxpressiUi; much the ^ti^w ^f^fu 

tiiueiiii ■j.'i those m which they had • 
him, anil then he concludes by 
we sh I 
titmal r 


»ftddne«is(A; th^ 
mirious other 
import, at the 

and the intent ^ 

ofth«-sn . ^ ■ , 

Iri^fici tcli youj a^ Lc. mil, Uial Mma ^ yti 

Trial of Thomtu Hattij/ 

was no war bclwcen Great Britiim r , 

you will allow me to sray that Uiere i- > c 

of a distinct intent that there should be a Na- 
lional Convention in England, and that the 
French sold it rs of hberty should assist what 
they would call the soldiers of our liberty^ 
whether there should be a war between Greal 
Britain and France, or not : and you will allow 
nie to bay, that in that very mouth of Nfw 
vember 1792, a passage occurs, in wliich 
France does in etlect dechtre war against all 
nations that did no! adopt her principles, ant} 
allow the people to put ihcm into execulron. 

In a tonspinry, us widely extended as lhi# 
i<, I shall undouinedly insisi, before you and 
the Court, thai the acts of individudls, and 
particularly theactsofpers^otis sent to prrsf nt 
addres'^cs to a forri^u country, tbii' 

do in fefefence lothesf^ aci^iseviili ,^i 

all of thciu ; and hkcAvise Ihat letters wludt 
the p**rsons write relative to ihe *ame att- 
dres*ies, arc evidence :i iti 

whether wntlen by tht l1 

or no, as being in tt re 

purpose. U^Kjn tin »^ 

Mr. Frost, who Wi^ in. m .yi i .mv. Mir,.^ |,}|« 
notioni* in a letter to Mr. Tookc, of the real 
cft'ect of this tr^iufjuctionofthe H)fh -f' A..-.»«;t; 
1T9S, ttboul whicli time Mr P*n 15 

first appearance in the National l .. „,ui> 
— ** Without the afliur of the 10th o< iMiptr 
liberty was over — We lUuc to*day with Peiionr 
— PtiiW has cnieretl hi^ name on the rolf of 
parliamrnt, omi wunt ihrou^ the f(»rm!i of 
otficc with a g^rcut deal of nonchalance — We 
art! well Mgc<l, iiuil beside our bed-roomi?, 
have all culerLiming n»um for members to be 
shuwn inlo, tmd seveial have called upon u» 
this morning/- • 

Thcu yoii will fmd, that Ihere being a pro* 
jert to viend shtjes to the soldiers of Fntncc; 
and arms and mu'ikeisi, with re^pett lo 
whith pn*ject the prison' « ^-^ -. ^... f.:i...^^^* 
— for the pur(*osf ul ha- rn 

Fn^rtr.irl fn InUKl? p] , /. , v.. .....^v. iH 

llowjogleiiofis wmten tithe 

\ '* Sir :— VcTii arc in no want of ffieiuh 
England, -who ardently wi^h to hr ti«.fiif 
French liberty; but we wi 
one of your friend** who rcsi«' 
whum you have iiu entire tr 
whiun we mtiv irive our nmia 

1 1 roaches wiicn 
I »ns to tht Na- 

I wise find tbnt the 
, and the Cnn 

'I'd to C.'.':'l 




ith'Mr, I 


will ilUIOTtut Ul ' 'f 

if you cotfsidiT tn Mt»i 

of view thai we do, ymi wiU Mic iit it unicti 


Jhf High Treason* 

A. D. 1794< 


use to the c&mmon caute in England and 
Fiance. I entreat you to give me your senti- 
ments upon the subject, and to point out to 
me the means by which I may be useful to 

This is answered, upon the 1st of October, 
by Petion^ thus — *' You cannot, sir, doubt of 
my eagerness to Mcond views so useful, which 
w<U for ever merit our gratitude, will rivet the 
links of fraternity between us, and must pro- 
duce the greatest advantages to England and 
Fraiue. I shall have the honour, sir, of 
sending yon without delay, the name of the 
person id whose hands von may place the fuuds 
which you desUne to the support of a cause 
which, in tnith, is that of all people who che- 
lish liberty." 

Gentlemen, it may be in the recollection of 
perhaps most who now hear me, that circum- 
stuwea of this sort, which were supposed to 
be In existence, but, which, in fact, were not 
capable of bein^ proved to be in existence, 
had excited in this country considerable alarm 
in the minds of many persons wlu) live in it. 
^This alarm, it seems to have been thought 
necesnry, both in the Constitutional Society, 
and also in the London Corresponding So- 
ciety, in some degree to lay asleep, as for as it 
affected them; they tliought it necessary, 
therefore, to ^ve some declaration, as they 
call it, of their principles, and I will state to 
you shortly what that was — but the explana- 
tion, which the London Corresponding Society 
gave, waa thought so little safe, though it was 
given for the purpose of laying asleep alarms, 
Uiat it will be distinctly prov^ to you^that 
being written as I am instructed to state' to 
Tou (and I do it because I am instructed, 
aud it is my duty), being written by Mr. 
Vanghan, it was agreed to be stuck up round 
the town at midnight — that accordingly a 
person of the name of Carter, a billsticker, 
was employed for that purpose; — :that 
lome mistake happened between him and his 
employers; that naving made that mistake, 
be was not thought a proper person to be 
employed in considerable business in the so- 
cie^ afterwards : this person was taken up 
in the act of sticking the bills round this 
lowDy which coDlains this address— he was 
prosecuted— he was convicted — and lay six 
nwnths in a gaol in consequence of that con- 
viction ; and this was the fate that attended 
the issuing into the world an address, which 
wu to appear not originally by daylight, but 
by midnight. 

With respect to the address of the Consti- 
tutional Soaety, I think I shall not be thought 
Id make anjunfair observation upon it when I 
wty thift— that if I had not read to you what I 
have already read, you would have found it 
impossible to ray wiiat it was, upon reading 
that paper that they mnmt to say, who pub- 
lished it ; but after what 1 have read to you 
1 think you can have no difficulty to dcter- 
aine that the paper they published, and the 
paper of the Corresponding Society, were 


by no means such as were calcuTated in any 
manner to disavow those principles, which I 
think I have shown you satisfactorily, from 
Alarch 1792, were the principles they acted 
upon and adopted. 

Gentlemen, the address of the London 
Corresponding Society is in these words ^— 
" Friends and fellow-countrymen, unless we 
are greatly deceived, the time is approachinjg 
when the object for which we struggle is 
hkely to come within our reach. I'hat a na* 
tion, like Britons, should be free, it is requi- 
site only that Britons should will it, to beconfb 
so" — that is a passage borrowed from Mr. 
Paine—'' that such should be their will--'the 
abuses of our original constitution, and the 
alarms of our aristocratic enemies, sufficiently 
witness : confident in the purity of our mo- 
tives, and in tlie justice of ourcause^ let us 
meet falsehood with proofs, and hvpocrisy 
vrith plainness ; let us persevere in declaring 
our principles, and misrepresentation will meet 
its due reward^on tempt. 

** In this view the artifices of a late aristo- 
cratic association, formed on the 20lh instant 
call for a few remarks on account of the declo* 
rations they have published, relative to other 
clubs and societies formed in this nation. It 
is true that this meeting of gentlemen (for 
so they style themselves) have mentioned no 
namesy instanced no facts, auotcd no authori- 
ties'' - it was a little difficult to do it, unleM 
they had the means of seeing all the corres- 
pondences at home and abroad — 'f but they 
take upon themselves to assert tliat bodies of 
their countrymen have been associated, pro- 
fessing opinions favourable to the rights of 
man, to liberty and equality'' — mark these ex- 
pressions — " and moreover that these opinions 
are conveyed in the terms, no king, no pariia^ 

Gentlemen, what I have been endeavouring 
to state to you is this, that it is necessarily, 
to be infcrre«l from their principles that they 
did mean to assert, when they were ripe forii^ 
no king, nopariiament : it is not my imputa- 
tion — I do not know whose it was, to which 
this alludes, that they did express their opi- 
nion in the language, no king, no parliament ; 
but I say that they expressed their opinions 
in language, which, when accurately looked at, 
as forcibly import the ideas, as if they had 
used the words no king, no parliament — '* if 
this be intended to include the^ societies to 
which we respectively belong, we here, in 
the most solemn manner, deny the latter part 
of the cliarge."— What is the latter part of^the 
charge ? tliat they do not mean to have a king 
or parliament? No — ^but that the opinions 
are conveyed in the terms, no king, no parlia^ 
[ ment. — Whoever shall allribulc to us the ex- 
pressions of no king, no parliament, or any 
dcsiirn of invading the j)r<»p<Tly of other men, 
• is guilty of a wiltul, an impudent, and a ma- 
, licious falsehood" — uiul then this paper,stating 
I a great deal more, which, in jusUce to the 
! paper itself, khall be read U> you, conclud«i 
1 V 



•^* Let us wail and walcb the ensuing 
essioo of parlianienl, from whom we have 
lilDUch to hope iiud httJe to fear. The liouiie 
Ijcf Commons may has c been the source of our 
I calamit/* it may prove that of our deliver- 
acej should it not, we trust we shall not 
prove unworthy of our foretalhers, whose ex* 
lions ill the cause of mankind so well deserve 
Ljr imitation/* 

Now, gentlemen I I ask, after concluding 
this IcUcr, what tliis means—" if parliament 
tiould not do it." — If we are ready to admit 
l^hat parliament is formed upon principleij ttiat 
Dake it competent to do the thing, if it please 
f do it, it is all well; btit if it will not^ then 
re will not prove unworthy of our forefuthers, 
i^^hose exertion* in the cause of mankind so 
vfcii deserve our imitation — and referring you 
beck to the correspondence between the Nor- 
wich and the London Corresponding Society, 
t€j the declaration of the 6lh of August 1793, 
vhich said they had nothing to look for from 
mrliament — to the correspondence with the 
•fatiocal Convention of France— to the eon- 
Juct, which in the prei»ence of their delegates, 
iras permitted — and never repudiated by any 
ct of the London Corresponding Society ; and 
■Teferring you, moreover, to the subsequent 
evidence, wliich 1 have to offer to you; I 
think you will find that the sentiment which 
is expressed by the author of this paper, upon 
iXie l^th of November 179«, was a sentiment 
which, if followed up bj^ tliosc who continue 
to hold it, meant that, if parliament did not 
give them redress, they would have it by their 
own force, 

Whh respect to the Constitutional Society, 
all it thinks proper to say ujKin the subject is 
this : — ^** that the object of this society, from 
its first institution to the prei^nt moment of 
•lami, has uniformly been, to promote the 
welfare of the people'* — I beg your attention 
to these words—'* has uniformly been to pro- 
mote the welfare of the people by all consti- 
tutional means/' — Now if I were to stop here, 
with a view to show you what you arc to un- 
derstand by the words, — '* all consUtutioual 
means'^ — are Uie means I have been stating 
constitutional mc^ns? Will it make the 
tneans more constitutional than they really 
are^l^^cause they ch<x>se to call tbcm so?— 
** and to expose in their true light the abuses 
which have imperceptibly crept in, and at last 
grown to such a hci;^ht, as to raise the most 
fcerious apprehensions in every true friond of 
tiie constitution. 

**Rcsolved,^dly— That this society disclaims 
the idea of wishing to effect a change to the nre- 
icnt sy>tem uf ihuigs by violence and punlic 
commotioij, but tliut ittrusi*^ »rj ilut isood sense 
<>f ihe people'' — You will ( :l have 

<kine, tliat, in April 1793* i> t trust to 

the good senM; of the pt-oplc — *' when lln?y 
shall l»e fuHy enli-^litcncd on the subjert to 

J.1, .,-,, ',■!'..,,.,;•,, , ■, I ir^ui- 

H' ' ■ ' -^*- 

iUi^'iHUj aaiy.^iUiii liiti mtciiUoas of 


Trial of Thomas Hardy [3S^ 

ihb and similar societies have of late been 
grossly calumniated by those who arc inte- 
rested to perpetuate abuse?, and their agents* 
who have been industrious to represent tht 
members of such st>cieties, as men of danger- 
ous principles, wishing to destroy all social 
order, disturb the stute of pr o|>erty, and intro- 
duce anarchy and confusion itiitead of regular 
\ government . 

" Heaolved, 4thly^ — ^That, in order to eotin* 
teract the operation of such gross asp«Fskms, 
and to prevent them from checking the pro^ 
^ress of ht>eral inquiry, it is at this time pectt« 
fmrly expedient timt this and similar socieliei 
should publkly assert the rectitude of tbeir 

" Resolved — That the said resolutions b« 
adopted, in order for printing lo the news- 

Now I desire any person to read that paper 
thx%)U|;h againi, and then, gentlemen of the 
fury, if it is relied upon, be so good as to ask 
yourselves what is the definite meaning in 
any one passage in it. 

About the same time there is an address 
from t!ic IVIanchestcr Society, dated the t4th 
of December 1792, which appears lo lia\*e 
been read in the Constitutional Society, in the 
presence of the prisoner, and which addrcsa 
has sume very particidar circumstances about 
it, for you will fmd that there was a resolution 
upon the 14th of December 17^3, in these 
words — ^** Read a priuled address from Man- 
chester — Resolved, that the said awklrcss be 
approved for publishing m the newspapirrs/* 

It appears hy a paper, which I shuU prfiduce 
to you, that the words licud a printed midra* 
from Manchester^ are in the hand- writing of 
Mr. Tooke ; that the adfh-ess itseli' is in the 
hand-writing uf Mr. Tooke; whether it was 
a copy of any iiddress at Manchester or not, £ 
du not know : this address appears afterwards 
to be in print ; it is sent for publication ; ajid 
with a vjcw to show to the public what ejiient 
the distributiuu of hl>els has arisen to in the 
progress of a treasonable purpose in London, 
this address was onlcrod to be printed, ana 
that a hundred thousand copies of it should 
be distributed to their corresfiondenls in Grettt 
Britain and IreUnd.—The repuct that was 
made upon It was, that it had beed oi^?red to 
the Morning Chromcle the Morning Fgsl, 
and that the paper itself, though drawn by « 
maatcrly hand, wan ' <t 

venture to print it— r 

printed in London, icm t- 

papers printed in the con r, 

if London will not do it i o^ .. 
laud has reachcti as far as > 
Tweed, so as to c\\c*l ihr i 
libcf, then it is » ' 
ord(!r to be publisln i 
might be more saldy done. 

Now, in this paper, which bears data 
the 1 4th of Dcu ember WUi, and rccoli 

as t hope you will do, what I have ^ 

stated tu you of the priociplcs of Uioim wh0 

Twoedp m 
, wbore ii 

rmed in this Iransaclion^ as these 
I ' t^ been manifested in aU the other 

imiiftscuuus, I have stated to you^ you wijl 
fiod tibmt in thi% pas^cc : he Sitya— *• To gytl 
•'*- ■•tilenl faisehood, that the 
the poor a* tlie rich, pr 
11 a roUen conslitulion, 
cxmmiucdf and of which 
iL^The real tncnds of 
»tid bear with pali- 
. to which they arc 
iiji Jiowever, no pergonal 
1. hm lo the enemies of 
ihc people, iiiul liu du»respect tii the tonbtilu- 
tiuii, hut where it is hostile to the rights of 
If, ,■' " 

I ly U h Kaid to he hostile to the 
ngi^ti w ibe people, I think, cun be pretty 
well understood, atter what I have stated to 

CabcMjt lbe%e communications with France, 
it need not be left there, for you will find 
tlmt this IS more distinctly stated in the 
dnm^hi^of an answer to a letter, which was 
JiJte^^iGc* read and entered among the minutes 
f ( ty uiKjn the seth, of October 17»2 : 

L- uf the answer «!ems to have been 

pr«|Mi4.d on the $nd ^fovembe^ 1792 ; it was 
lo^bcMOtto the editors of the Patriot. The 
(l*lbe Patriot were persons who were 
I Sbeilidd ; and it will appear by the 
iiie cuhsiane^ uf wtiich I have nut really 
iJj atfcngth onovigh to state to you, were 
laiiled al r> ^^ lime with the London 
Oatt8ii|ioad , and aUo with the Con- 

tfimlffltti .^^^ 4 ,. ilic prupagatiuu ol their 

ptop «n<l thi5 ui an extent, which no 
J am do uiMirt. to, which it is mipos* 
without reading a par ^ 
> they IhemJselves state 
;i]g, and which, for the 
you in this respect, 
iii to you : to one of 
an answer, and I hc;^ 
,', o\ the 2nd of Nov, 17S>'J. 
)i h you in the increase of the 
tifi^ of freedom ; our bo- 
iitiments— we are bro- 
I . ...m4 |ou,nud with the free- 
;,jH_>:t'* — (who wrote that letter 
i^ i tieiare: observed up<*n, which states 
Ifttftyiigc^n do but a convention, and that 
is a government immediately 
by ttie people : that that cannot 
_ the Crown or the Lords, as you 
rta cuofrtrua^ the letter, retain their au- 
tho iiiy^—Thgy »<ld — ** Freedoni, though an 
Ite ^ ' Horts" — Now they 

Hii I fj the prejudice of 

!»;. 1 III lUint^uilhe world 

iCuUitp'' "I t.h>^ I i'- ostein aparlia- 

Icc^extititJ^ ^viLij HmgM.iifi lords. They add 
l*ihm v^n, aji«tocracy,'* that is, persons 
» hftvt eoc c4Mit4 upon their backs^'' and 
*— nc bave it yet in England, 
'' aie panting and writhing 
iti imp; m^y Miccess, peace, and 
tStnud those efforts ! " — That 

Jetter, so prepared, will be produced to youj 
with the corrections of Air. Ilome Tooke, in 
liis own hand. 

Gentlemen, I have now gone Uirou^b, as 
well as I ani able, — and I hope you will keep 
in view the ca^e I have stated, — the princii^ 
pies and practices of these societies, wUh all 
their affiliations. I ought to mention to yau^ 
that you will find in tlie evidence, as it is laid 
before you, most uncommon industry in pick- 
ing up fresh connexions. J f a paper appeared 
in 'the country, stating that a society of any 
eort was formed, you will find immediate in- 
dustry to connect tliem, and alliliate the 
with the London Corresponding and Const 
tutional Societies. If these societies profes; 
— as, for instance, the Stockport Society pro-^ 
fcssed^ — that they would have nothing but 
government constituted immediately by tliei 
selves, they contrive lo give an answer satii 
factory to thera. If the societies professei 
attachment to the monarchy, and desired eac*<-] 
planation whether they meant JVIr. Pitt's plaOg 
wJiich Mr. Paine lau*jhs at-*or whether thejT' 
meant the duke ot Richmond's plan — or 
whether thev meant, as a letter, you wUl 
hear by and by, says, to rip up monarchy bw 
the roots, you will .find they satisfied llicm ail 
sufiiciently to enlist them all for ttmt purpose^ 
which from their own transactions, I stiUc ta 
be neither more nor less, than to do what 
iMr. Paine did in his book, to combine the 
principles, which they stated, when the 
limes were ripe for it, with the practices 
which were correspondent with those princi- 
ples ; to apply those principles, which were 
alike the principles of the^ societies and of- 
the French constitution of 1791, and which 
Mr. Paine, Mr. Barlow, and those addressers 
to the convenion, receiving such answers from 
the convention iu 1792, declared had produced 
a constitution in France u]>on the 10th of An* 
gust 1792, to apply them not to form that, 
which in its nature is an absurdity, a royal de- 
mocracy, but that which u{H}n principle is 
consistent, though it it a wretched bad govern- 
ment, a represcfttative govcrnmeniy lo be ex- 
changed here in lieu of our hmited monarchy^ 
in heu of our government, under which I 
state it, with a defiance to the w*orld to tell 
me that I du not state it truly, that a people 
never did enjoy, since the providence of God 
made us a people Cyou roay^talk about theories 
as yoy please), that they never did enjoy, for 
so lung a time together, such a quantum of 
actual private happiness and private prosper- 
ity, puLlic happmcssand public prosperity, 
under any constitution, as we have enjoyed 
under the constitution, to the destniction or 
the support of which it is for you to judga 
whether such means, as I have been stating 
lo you, were designed to be employed. 

The ne.\t thing that was to he oone, was lo 
go on in strengtliening themselves by affilia^ 
lion ; and you will find accordingly that they 
have connexions at Norwich, Shetheld, Leeds, 
and other places : iudeedi there wfis Wrdly a 

9S7] S5 GEORGE m. 

county, in which they had not affiliated so- 
cieties, and, if yon believe them, to great 

The next step they took was, not that they 
should have it accomplished— their principles 
wjouUI not let them accomplish it— but it was 
for the purpose of attaching more and more 
affiliated societies, that they began now tp 
think, in the year 1793, of makmg applica- 
tions to parliament. Gentlemen, m the 
course of tliat year, 1793, whilst they are to 
make applications to parliament, you will find 
that they distinctly discuss the utility of doinjg 
80. I'he London Corresponding Society, it 
will be proved to you, take the opinion of the 
societies in the country with respect to three 
distinct propositions. Mark this. 

Now, gentlemen, in September 1793, the 
Stockport Society told the London Corres- 
tfonding Society that there was no hope of 
doing any thing but in a convention; the 
London Corresponding Society give the an- 
swer that I have before stated. They bcf^n 
to think of this thing called a conven- 
tion in the beginnii.g of the year 1793, and 
they propose having communication, on the 
other hand, from the country societies. They 
State three propositions — What is it we arc to 
do ?— Arc we to make an application to parlia- 
ment ? — Are wc to make an application to the 
king ? — ^That would have been, to make ap- 
plicat'on to the king, that he would oe 
gra ious^y pleased, according to the oath which 
he takes upon his coronation, to give his con- 
sent to measure*:, which were to destroy the 
government of the country, as it exists, and 
of himself as a part of it ! ' Or are wc to have 
a convention? You will find, when the 
whole of the evidence is laid before you, 
there is a vast deal of discussion about this 
measure of a convention, there is a vast deal 
of di<<cussion about applying to parliament. 
The application to the knig is thought futile 
without more debate ; but they come to this 
determination, that things are not yet ripe : 
but that the application to parliament, how- 
ever, may be one means of ripening that 
which is not yet mature ; and then soliciting 
petitions from all parts of the kingdom, tell- 
ing those, from wnom they ask them, that 
they do not mean that they should have any 
eftect, that they are all waste paper; canvas- 
sing all parts of the kingdom, and getting sig- 
natures in the way you will find, they 
send the petitions to parliament, which, for 
myself and my postenty, I thank God par- 
liament did not attend to ; I mean petitions to 
introduce a change in the government upon 
the principle of annual suffrage and universal 

They lictermined for the present that they 
would content themselves with petitions: 
that this would oceaMon a great deal of de- 
bate : that that would give them a vast variety 
of opportunities of discussing the point they 
had bad in agitation since 1799 ; and, if the 
public mind was not ripe for a convenlMii in 

Trial qfTkomas Hardy 


1793, the proceedings and transactions of 
1793, had a natural and obvious tendency, 
when tliese transactions were made a proper 
use of, to bring to maturity the project, not 
yet come to maturity : you will find therefore 
that both the London Corresponding Society 
and the Society for Constitutional Informa- 
tion keep this object in view. 

The Norwich Society, upon the 5th of 
March 1798, write thus to the Society for 
Constitutional Information, and which jpu 
will see had held correspondence also with 
the London Corresponding Society upon the 
subject of the same proposition : ** It is with 
peculiar satisfiiction that we are favoured with 
your correspondence," — they first say — ^ We 
wish to find out a method of redress ; at pro^ 
teni we see a great propriety in universal suf- 
frase and annual elections ; but we beg you 
will be obliging enough to inform us of what 
you have collected of the sense of the people 
by your correspondence : we have to inform 
you that our worthy Corresponding Societies 
of London have recently submitted three pro- 
positions for our investigation ; first, whether 
a petition to parliament^ or an addrtu to tha 
king, or a convention,** 

When I find here the word convention, I 
think I may address this auestion to you as 
men of common sense; it, in August 1799, 
the London Corresponding Society, by the 
address which I have read to you, nave told 
^ou distinctly that they cannot get any redress 
firom parliament, is it not marvellous how it 
is to be made out in argument, that, in March 
1793, they vere to have a convention in order 
to i^t it from parliament, and more particu- 
larly to get it from that parliament, which, 
upon their own principles wm not competent 
to fiive {/, if they had a mind to take it firom 
parliament ? 

" Permit us briefly to state our views for 
your revisal ; and with respect to the first, wo 
behold we are a conquered people ; we have 
tamely submitted to the galling yoke, and 
resistance in the present circunutances is vain ; 
we cannot, we cannot art the man ; and, as 
necessity has no law, we think ourselves tm- 
\ der that degrading necessity to state our grie-» 
I vances to the Ilousc of Commons, with a re- 
'; quest for redress ; and should they refuse" — 
, which they did — " to grant our reasonable 
; petition, we have still got (no thanks to 
them)" — here is an accurate, a short dci>crip- 
tion of the affiliated societies — " a formidable 
j engine, that will convey the insult to the 
I remotest parts of the kingdom : as to the 
. propriety of the second, we wish to submit to 
I your superior jud^ent, and should esteem it 
j a favour to be informed of the roull ; for at 
i present we arc dubious of its good conse- 
quences. Lastly, a convention ; and oh ! that 
the period were arrived ; but in the present 
, state of aflairs, alas ! it is impracticable ; yet 
this is the object we pursue^ and esteem any 
other means only in subordination to, and as 
baving a tendency to accomplish that dtuw 
I able end. 


Jor Ffigh Trms^n. 

uiii&oti with our brc* [ 
' irers, ami ^bouM b^ gliid 
nfatiy '^^Mon HS it is conveni- ' 

rrti; w^ ir atlvice whether tl is 

itrcessary, as au^^n u» pij!»«tble, to collect sig- 
nalirr*** lo a pelilton far u rt:al rtprestntation 





T, ofUteSlhofMflfch 1793, h«v- 

M fl from Norwich, you will 
1^1, who had then lalely conve 
il WH'^ ubutjt that lime, I be- | 
no king in this coimtry, in j 

I ninir l>vvful lO Sa.Y SO, WflS j 

, ♦ r per*: on to draw 
1^; and accordingly 
1 oks of the society, tRat 
1 lo prepare that answer: 
itito abler handn; for, unless 
instructed, it was settled by 
J I he substance 1 will now read to 
K dftted the 16th of April 1793. 
of the Society for Con- 
n to the secretary of the 
iclics at Norwich. — We 
with great satisfaction 
1 1 IV i I yju favoured us with^ dated 
Lint, relative to the most desirable 
n}ui^. u the retbrra of a parlia- 
u. The honour you do 
^ wc arc better fitted than 
»or the promotion of political 
, wo must disclaim, becau?j.e we 
ilesl picasure, that our 
iits have too much zeal 
^ \u want success in their pub- 

i. whether at Norwich, at Shef- 

s. sitT, or elsewhere, through- 

t In our sincerity for the good 

01 iitjr t<^M in uy we trust that we arc all et|ual> 
ladt M imch/ wc doubt not of our ultimate 

' witli sorrow the existence of those 
•• ^-'^^ justly represent as the 
» overflowinjj this once 
country. Wc see with 
Durrcntt; that men arc to be 
H and willing to supjiort those 
It i*., however, no small conso- 
!d thill others are not wanting, in 
'tton, of nn opposite ciia- 
to renu:<lv» by all laud- 
:i% the defect in our 
d extension of the 
' t her grievances 


.ir... tM r.ngland has no 

icter it once possessed ; 

""'^ r:\cy of the country 

property and privf- 

iheieforc no longer 

cmmt'Ot, which our adversa- 

:_', when they know it is no 

fire facbt notorious 

then are we to look 

I hose who had 

ri, they would 

' OqI Hfjt tD {>aiiiaaitiit, would not \k so in- 

consistent as to say that Uicy would look la 
it in April 1793 — ** to that' parliament of 
which wc complain? to tJie executive power 
which h imphcillv obeyed, if not anticipated 
Id that parliament ? or lo ourselves ?" 

Now, who are ourselves ? why, those affi- 
liates) societies ! ** ourselves represented iti 
some meeting of delcj^alcs for the extensive 
purpose of relorm, which wc suppose you un- 
dersl;ind by the term convention.'* The Nor* 
wicii Sociiiiy writes to the Coastitutional So-, 
cicty, and it proposes a convention as the 
only means of doing Uiis buitiness. The 
Constitutional Society states that it is to be 
done only in a convention,— of what? of^ 
themselves. Why then, I say, upon the Ifitii \ 
of April, 1793, the Constitutional Society 
construed the acts of the 20th of January. 
1794, which I shall allude lo presently, anrl 
the 27lh nf March, 1794, because the <Jonsti« 
tulionol Society, said that a convention was a 
convention of themselves, represented income 
meeting of delegates,— and for what purpose f 
for the extensive purposes of reform j — now ? 
by applying to parliament? No, Why,thispas* 
sage states expressly that the reason why theJJ 
would liave a convention was, because they 
would not apply to parliament; and can i 
impute to men of understanding, that ar€ 
employed in tins busiricHS, for there are meii 
of understanding enough employed in thli 
business ; w hether that understanding i^ 
properly employed in this business, it is noC 
for me to say aiiy thing about— can I imptital 
any thing so absurd to men of understand In 
as that they meant to form a convenlioi 
whicii convention should carry their pettUoif 
to parliament ? 

** It is the end of each of these proponi 
tioiis that we ought to look to ; and, as sut ., 
cess in a good cause must be the eflect of 
persevcnince and the rising reason of the 
time, let us determine with coolness, but let 
us persevere with decision. As to a couvcn- 
tion, wc regard it as a plan the most desirabl 
and most practicable;'* — when? so soon 
the great body of the people shall be virtue 
enough to join us in the attempt? No — but'* 
sooa as the great body of the people shall 
couragmu»and virtuous enough to join «•» in the 
attempt/' You will see whether the ioterpre- 
tatiiin which 1 give of the word ** courageous** 
by the manner fn which I mciu to express it, is 
due to it or nut, bv what I have to state to you, 

Gentlemeu ul tbe jury, with a view to 
plain thin tiling called a convention, as cort-^ 
tradistinguished from parhiimcni, give mts 
leave to carry back, your attentiou fur a mo* 
ment to January '^5,' 1793. In this society, 
whirh, in November, 1792, had the corres-, 
pondence witli France, which I stated, in J 
nuary, 1793, when we were on the eve ofi 
war, and upon the eve of a war which had 
been produced by the principles whicji 
brought fraternization into this countrv^j^ 
and took place soon after that decree ol 
November, 1792, you will fiud t^VV^^^ v 



[^lutions were come to— " That citizen St. 

];Andre, a roember of Ihc Nationul Convention 

[•of France/* — that convention which had de- 

•posed a king, as that which could notejctst in a 

govern 111 en I, formefl upon the principles of the 

rights uf tnaii, as diM:lo5<ed by Mr. Paine, his 

lifellow-meniber in that convention, — " as one 

off the most judicious and entidvtcned friends 

[ of human liberty, be admitted an associated 

Llicinorar^r member of this society, — Uesolved 

fThal citizen Barrfere, a member of the Na* 

[•tional Convention of France, being cooHdered 

hhy us as one of the most judicious and en< 

lightened friends of human hberly, be ad- 

niLted an associated honorary member of ttixs 


'* Resolved, that citizen Holand, being also 

leonsi<tered by us as one of the most judicious 

Imnd enlightened friends of human liberty^ be 

l^dmitted an associated honorary member. 

^ That the speeches*' — Gentlemen, 1 par- 
Iticularly request your attention to this-^ 
1^ that the speeches of citizen St, Andr6 and 
eitisen Barr^rCf associated honorary members 
of this society f as given in die Gautte Na* 
iionaU, ou Sloniieur unirerttl of Paris, on 
the 4th, 6th, and 7lh of January, I79i3, be 
inserted in the books of this society ;**— and, 
as far as tJiis society could eftectuate it, they 
etideavoured also to havp these resolutions, 
published in the newspapers, and it will be 
ni proof to you that, in the bofiks of the so- 
ciety, it is resolved that each of these resolu- 
tions should be so published. 

Now, gentlemen, I shall prove to you^ by 
evidence completely effectual fur that pur- 
pose, what these speeches were, and then, if 
you will be so good as to ask yourselves what 
tiic Constitutional Society, which in January 
and February ordered these speeches to he 
pubhshed^ meant by o canvention in that let- 
ter of the teib of April, 1793, you will judge 
whether that convention was to be the means 

i because they would neither apply to the 
:ing, the executive power, nor to the parlia- 
ment), was to be the means of handing 
their application to parliament or whether, 
on the other hand, it was to be the means 
of introducing by Its own force, a r**- 
pretcntativc government in this country ? 
that assembly. wl\ich you will find, they 
insist would for Uie time absorb all the 
powers of government, which, if it i\id 
exist, would delegate its legislative power 
onlv so long as Ihcy chose to delegate it, a 
body competent to create a legijf^Iaiure, and 
possessing within itself an eternal power of 
reform, an eternal source of revolution, 
Willi rc^jMTct to SL Andr^, speakuig to the 
convention, he says, ** Your riyhl to decide 
the fate of kings arises from your being a re- 
volutionary asscnibtv (.Tciih d h\ tlu? natioo" 
— a rcvolutiona! by the 

nation in such a it thing, 

which I think uogoixl tngUshman ever will 
wi^h to eiist to see — *' a revolutionary as- 
i I ritcd b/ the imtloo lo a at^tc of 

ill .. . ," 

Tml of Thomas Hardy {33f 

Speaking of the trial of the king of France, 
they say, ** This proceeding is of the highcac 
importance to public order, absolutely lieces* 
sary to the existence of liberty^ and connected 
with whatever is held nioBl sacred by th^ 

** The people of Paris" — This is upon' the 
(question whether the person of the king be 
JDviaJable, a ma.^im unquestionably true in 
the constitution of tliis countrj', a maxim 
perfectly consistent with the civil liberties of 
the people, because^ though the king's per- 
son is mviolablc, he has advisers, who ane 
violable as to every act that he does — ** The 
people of Paris, by making a holy insurrec- 
tion against the king on the iQth of August^* 
— that 10th of August, which, in Mr. Frost's 
letter to Mr. Tooke, was absolutely necessary 
to the existence of liberty in France — *' de- 
prived him of bis character of inviolabiUly. 
The people of the other departments ap- 
plauded this insurrection, and adopted the 
consequence of it. Tli/e people have IhcrcfoTTe 
formally interposed to Je&lroy this rayal in- 
violubdiiy. Ihc tacit consent of the people 
rendered the person of the king inviolable; 
the act of insurrection" — I pray heaven de- 
fend us from the operation ot such principles 
in this counlry— " the act of insurrection wa« 
a tacit repeal of that consent, and was 
founded on the same grounds of law as the 
consent itself; the kin^*s person is inviolable j 
only with relation to tne oilier branches of 
tl)c legislature^ but not with relation to the 

rslow, I ask, what did those gentlemeiji^ 
who ordered this speech to be publisher' ^ 
that the king's person is invioltible only will 
relation to the other branches of the le^isli 
ture, when they were talking of convention^ 
mean .^ lam sorry lo say that my mmd \ 
drawn to the conclusiQH that thev thoughj 
the king*s person was not inviolable witli re« 
lation to ihe people, a convenlioo of whota 
was to be formed, and was to be formed t^e^ 
cause an application to parliament waa 

Now, let us see the description of a con- 
vention. ** A convention diifers from an or^ 
dinar^ legislature in this jcspect : a legibla* 
lure IS only a species of superintending mac 
gistracy, a moderator of the powers of govern 
ment r a convention is a perfect representalioil 
of tlie sovereign t the members of tl, ' 
live assembly acted in August upon t 
ci pies, in sumnnming the convcjiuon ; intj 
declare" — precisely as it is declared in tb 
letter I have been reading to you—" tlia 
they saw but onv measure which could saT 
France, namely, to h^^'^ t*<.Mir?c to the «u« 
preme will of' the ] d to invite th^ 

people to CX( Tci!^^' ii ihil UU:*lit'13lb 

nle right « i 

lion hud ;i; 

t lu any rrsUlclion : ihu , 
i jiiired that the people hU 

luteal \Xim will by tlic election of ft ^>tiQii4 


for High Treason. 

CoOfttitiOT), formed of repre«cntalives in- 
testfil bv the people inilh unlimited powers. 


did manifest their will by the 

» hat convention. The convention 

lablcd is itself that sovereign will 

ill to prevai). It would be con- 

: TJnciple to suppose tliat the 

r alone exdusiv ely the cxpres- 

.il wilL 

•jfthe convention must, from 
• i ...I ^ of the assembly, be unlimited 

*. (t to every nieasurc of general 

SI I as the execution of a tyrant* It 

1^ ' a convention, if it has not power 

l> . king :a convention lit a constituent 

bcHiy^ t, £< a body that is to make a constitu- 
tioator the people; a legislature makes laws 
USider an eiitaMished constitution, and in con- 
fomity to it, It is despotism whcu, in the 
and ptTmanent establifihment of a 
there is no reparation of powers j but 
*' very esseuce of a consstilucnt body 
1 1- for the time all authority : it is 

tiiv .w., ..uLure of a national convt-ution, to 
ht the lemfjonitj' ima^c of the nation, to 
ill ii-fir all the powers of the btyte, to 
ilo iinslthe enemies of liberty, 

I them in a new isocial cora- 

ls I constitution.'* 

ji»^ after I have stated that to you, 

iiiu^L I caiiuot possibly be mistaken when I 

riv? that you can Jo no otherwise than 

p> toe construction upon this letter 

w lake the liberty of calling your 
1 a letter of the 17*th of May 179^, 

Utm inv amwerof the 26th May 17{>.H, passing 
a grciit many letters, the substance of 
h you wiil inlorm yourselves of by having 
1 nmdf namely, JeUcrs that prove afiilia- 
k »otiriied aud granted to Leeds, Tewkcs- 
hutf, i and many places in the 

kingdcs^ numerous than I apprehend 

JQQ wtil bcheve^ tdl you see what the num- 
wr ^f tb«m is, by evidence actually before 

Gcntlemm, I beg Jeave now to call your 
IftaiUt r If r of time, to a tetter of the 

lllb %\ ior it begins a corresjiondencc 

lUMleiiirsfivi J) material with that part of 
ibe countiT in which the convention haa been 
tkmiy ticid ; 1 nu • ■>-■♦' ^r 1 : -a convention 
vydv 1 Ihtnk 1 u, did, for the 

ttMv vt Upon 1 that I have 

HUed loycu, !n>iu iIm ' f Barrerc, as 

4f a* it txjtj I : h I think, at 

^mammn^ you, if it had not 

laeil ttQ|iarii . m of its purposes, 

•atf bid b«!Ujoii hose acts wc 

V9 rtm*¥}rTi^ g < I 1 1 1 h a V e neen, 

ki ' ■ . i ' I ■ ' r , in 

L: of 

Htfiefi *jI licarm^ il ironv me m a 

Oent^m' " ' '\-r f^ r' that I 
ii^lobadu thrjus- 

derstaud the case upon which certain per 
sons were tried for the acts which they did if 
Scotland, that, if they had been tried lor higHj 
treason, they would have no right to com- 
plain ; no right to complain if the ouestioiL 
upon their conduct bad been agitateu in thai 
shape before a jury of the conn fry. 

Gentlemen, upon the 17th ol May, a Mf 
Urquhart going from London, Mr. Hardy, and 
a person of the name of Margaret, celcbrat 
cJ in the future history of this busincsSj joiii 
and write a letter — parliament had, as tbej 
expected it would, and as they meant it shonJ 
reiected their petition — "The Ix)ndon Coml 
responding Society eagerly seizes the oppori, 
tunity of Mr. Urquhart gomg back to JEdinJL 
burgh, to request of your society a renewal ol] 
correspqndence, and a more intimate co ope 
ration in that which both societies alike seei 
viz» a reform in the parliamentary represcntaZJ 
tion. We are very sensible that no societj 
can by itself brin 2 about that desirable end 1 
let us, therefore, unite as much as possible^ 
not only with each other, but with everyj 
other society throughout the nation. Owtl 
petitions, you will have learned, have beeilj 
all of them unsuccessful: our attention musC 
now, therefore, be turned to some more effen 
tuai means ; from your society wc would wil 
lingly learn them, and you, on your part, ma| 
depend upon our adopting the firmest mea 
surcs, provided they are constitutional, and w 
hope the country will not be behindhand wit] 

Now, by *' constitutional measures," it m\ 
clear that they meant that a convfntwn^ ai 
contradistinguished from a parliament, would 
be coMMitulional : it is clear they meant i^l 
because they have said it, J 

Then Mr, Skirving • writes thus — "Mhl 
Urquhart did me the pleasure to call C4ti 
Thursday afternoon, and delivered your lettetj 
of the 17th inst- i am much pleased wit 
the contents of it, and shall lay it before th 
first meeting of our societies here, which, hov 
ever, does not take place till Monday sevei 
night I would have acknowledged the receip 
of your favour by yesterday's post, but was IlhA 
much emplovcd m removing our househokt| 
to another lodging to attend to any things 
else/' Now I beg ^'our attention to this. be»| 
cause you will sec in the transactions of tbf 

}Jeople in convention in Edinbiffgh, that they 
ookcd to what they were to do" in case of aj 
rebellion as wxll a"J any other. 

" If either you in England or we in Scoti 
land shoidd attempt separately, the reforn 
which we, I trust, seek to obtain, we shouldi!^ 
by so doing, only exi^oso our weakness, and 
manifest our ignorance of the corruption 
which opposes our important undertaking ^ if 
we sougnt only the extirpation of one set of 
interested men from the management of na- 
tional affair?, that place might be given to 



Trial of Thomas Hardy 


another set; without afTccting the vitals ad- 
verse to the system of reform, these might be 
easily accomplished : but to cut up deep and 
wide rooted prejudices^ to give effectual energy 
to the dictates of truth in favour of (lublic 
virtue and national prosperity, in opposition to 
self and all its interested habits, and to with- 
stand and overawe the final efforts of the 
powers of darkness, is the work of the whole, 
and not of a part ; a work to which mankind 
till thu awful period were never adequate, be- 
cause never till now disposed to fraternize, 
not merely or only, I trust, firom the sense of 
the common danger to which we are exposed, 
but firom the ennobling principle of universal 

'* I know no greater service that I can do 
my coiintrv, than to promote the union you 
so wisely desire : and I am happy to assure 
you, that I have hitherto discovered no sen- 
timent in our association, adverse to the most 
intimate and brotherly union with the asso- 
ciations in England. 

^ I think the minds of all must in the na- 
ture of things be now turned to more effectual 
vuans of reform. Not one person was con- 
vinced of the necessity of it oy the most con- 
vincing arguments of reason, together with 
the most unequivocal expressions of univen^ 
Jeaire. What then is to be hoped for from 
repetition ? I am only afraid that the bow in 
England against reform was so contracted, 
that in returning it may break. You would 
willingly learn, jfou say, from U9— I own that 
we ought to be forward in this : we have at 
once in ^reat wisdom perfected (mr plan of 
organization, and if wc were in the same in- 
dependent state of mind as the people of 
England, we would be able to take the lead 
— the associations with you are no more, I 
fjjar — excuse my freedom — than an aristocracy 
for the good of the people : they are indeed 
moderate, firm, and virtuous, and better can- 
not be; but we arc the people themselves, 
und we are the first to show that tJic people 
can both judge and resolve, if undirected by 
faction, withJ)oth wi^lom and moderation. 

'* 1 liuve not a higher wish in Uie present 
exertions for reform than to see the people 
universally and regularly associated, because 
I am persuaded that tlie present disastrous 
engagements will issue in ruin, and Uie peo- 
ple must then provide for themselves; and it 
would be unhappy when we should be ready 
to act with unammity, to be occupied about 
urgaiiization, without which, however, anar- 
chy must ensue — we will not need hut to be 
prepared for the event—to stand still and see 
the salvation of the Lord — let us therefore 
take the hint given us by our opposers ; let 
us begin in earnest to make up our minds re- 
lative to the extent of reform which we ought 
to seek, be prepared to justify it, and to con- 
trovert objections : let us model the whole in 
the public mind ; let us provide every stake 
and stay of the tabernacle which we would 
erect, so that when the tabernacles of oppress 

bion in the palaces of ambition are brokea 
down, under the madness and folly of their 
supporters, we may then, without anarchy 
and all dangerous delay, erect at once our 
tabernacle ot righteousness, and may the Lord 
himself be in it!" 

Gentlemen, these are things all very easy 
to be understood. 

^ How hurtful to the feelings of a reflect- 
ing mind, to look back to the wretched state 
in which the Roman monarchy, enfeebled ami 
broken by its own corruptions^ left the nations^ 
which it subjected, like sheep without a shep- 
herd ; they soon became a prey to every in- 
vader, because there was none to gather and 
imite them; had they, foreseeing the evil, 
associated for mutual defence, no robbi^ 
would have been able to enslave them ; ther 
would have given laws to all parties, as well 
as to themselves : all separate colonies and 
nations would have sougnt their alliance : but 
not having virtue to associate, and heal the 
divisions, and root out the selfish spirit, 
which ambition-fostering governments pro- 
cure to their subjects, they fell under oppres- 
sions, from under whose iron sceptre they 
have never yet been able to deliver them- 
j '< We may suppose an event, which we 
i deprecate; nay, should we not be prepared for 
every possible issue of the present unprecedcnt- 
I ed divisions of mankind, wc have a right to 
be apprehensive of the abilities of our owhf 
I managers, who are so afraid to depart firom 
; precedent, that, like men of detail, they may 
I be inadequate to the task of preserving tlie 
I vessel frum shipwreck, now grappling witti 
\ danger not only great, but new and uncom- 
. mon. If the present ministry fail, who after 
: them sliall be trusted ? It requires little pe- 
netration to sec the anarchy and discordr 
: which will follow ; it will be such, that no* 
thing short of a general union among the 
people themselves, will be able to heal : nastA' 
therefore to associate, at least to be ready 16 
associate; if, then, such a broken state of 
tilings should take place, the civil broils that 
would necessarily ensue, would soon subsido' 
before the united irresistible voice of the 
whole. Do not, I entreat you, hebitatfr 
thinking such a work premature as yet,''— i 
this is writteu in May 179:i ; — ^ but a mordh^ 
and thcsi it may he too late; a malignant 
party may be already formed, and only 
waiting for the halting of the presmt mana- 
gers; It will then be too late to seek to sub- 
ject to deliberation, after a party has dared 
the act of rebellion. If you so no further 
than se)>aratc meetings in dinerent towns, 
we will not be able to confide in your con- 
fraternity, because while in such a ^tate yoa 
may be but the tools sf a faciiun; we could 
have all confideiKe and unite with all afico^ 
tion in o«e assembltf of commisaUfntn from all 
countries of the world.*' 

Gentlemen, observe that expression ; thia 
letter, in the beginning of it, speaking wilk 

8S7] Jot High Tretum. A. D. 1794. [S38 

icfereDoe to the ^vary does not know but the 
paUces of ambition may be all overset ; the 

Slars will tumble with their supporters, 
ten it says, *' we could have ull confidence 
and unite with all affection in one as&emUif of 

at that time was a member of the society or 
not, but two members are brought togetner, 
Mr. Home Tooke and a person of the name 
of Yorkc,* who, you will find, was a delegate 
to the convention in Scotland, and who you 

commiuitmtrs from all countries of the worm j will find has acted a considerable part in 
—if we knew they were chosen by the un- ■ other parts of this country, were to be emt- 
biassed voice of the people, because they I ployed in preparing that address, 
would come up with the same disinterested ' Upon the 6th ot July 1793, a letter having 
Tiews and desires as ourselves, having all ! been received from the political societies at 
i^reed to a common centre of union and ' Norwich, the answer, signed by the prisoner 
interest ; but we could not confide in fellow- 1 at the bar, is ^ven in these terms : 
citizens, who kept aloof from such union, and ' " Fellow-citizens, the London Correspond- 
would not previously affiliate in one graat and | ing Society have received, and read with 
indivisible tamilv " { pleasure, your letter of the 25th of June ; but 

Gentlemen, I have before tokl you, that the answer, which you mention to have been 
there was a sociely at Birmingham. Upon . made to our three Questions, has not yet 
the lOth of June 1793, the Loudon Corres- ' come to hand; we snail be glad to be iii- 
pondinz Society writes to that Society in formed by your next whether it was ever put 
these terms : *' it is with singular satisfaction in the post-ofiice. 

the Committee of the London Corresponding ** With regard to the questions themselves. 
Society received your letter ; they are very however individuals may have made up their 
glad to see the spirit of freedom springing up minds on them, the public seemed most to 
m Birmingham, and the^ make no doubt but approve the mode of petitioning parliament." 
that the zeal of your Society and the increase Then it states the cflect ot the petitions. 
of your nunilers will soon do away the " Kxhorting you therefore to throw aside all 
sngma thruuii on ^our town by the unjus- unavailing complaint, we wish you to occupy 
tifiable behavjuur ol^a Church and King mob : yourselves in instructing the people, in intro- 
we are entirely of ydur opinion with regard to ducing and maintaining order and regularity 
the necessity of' a fieneral union, and we be- in your own society, ami in forming a junction 
Eeve, as you do, that when onre the country witli all others associated for the same pur- 
fihall have so united,**— what then? ** the pose throughout the nation, by keeping up a 
J^eroes of the day will be forced to yield to constant correspondence with them ; but, 
the juU demand of a long and sure oppressed , above all, orderly and courageously preparing 
ftnle. " I yourself for the tveiU,*- — now mark the event, — 

Gentlemen, the political societies at Nor- i '' for, as it is natural to suppose that those, who 
vicb alAO write to the I^ndon Corresivonding ; now prey on the public, will not villinsily field 
Society with respect to this C'onvention upon '</' their enjoyments, nor repossess us oj our 
the 9oth of June 179;^ in which they say, rights without a struggle, which by their be» 
" we also received your friendly letter prior huviour in Ireland^'* — that alludes to the bill 
to4hat wherein you stated three propositions: : in Ireland to prevent a convention,— " iw 
first, a petition to his majesty, or to parlia- have some reason to think they arc meditating^ 
ment, or a national convention; and ordered and perhaps may intend to effect by meam cf 
oneof our committee to answer it; should be those zery foreign mercenaries, who are now 
§lad if you will inform me whether it was paid by the sweat of our brow, and zchi-m, under 
attended to. I gave my opinion on the sub- . some plausible pretence, it would be no difficult 
ject to the Constitutional society of London, matter to land on our shore : it may be more ad- 
and found their ideas congenial to my own,'' vantageous to humanity to show them at JirU 
—that alludes to the letter they wrote hiin, — ; that their opponents arc neither mob nor rabbUf 
* viz. an address to the king — futile ; a peti- ; but an indignant oppressed people, in whom is 
tion to parliament (as a conquered people)-* , not yet entirely extinct the valour of their fore- 
tolerable; a national convention (if circum- fathers,^' 
slanccs admitted), best of all.'* I (Gentlemen, in a letter to Hertford, which is 

Gentlemen, you will find that, upon the | written by the same Corresponding Society, 
S8th of June 1793, whilst these societies ; upon the 3 1st of July 1793, and wliich Society 
were holdinz so much correspondence with i at Hertford had desired to kno\v tlieir princi- 
respect to this national convention, as the pies, they stale tlienisclvcs in the same 
only effectual means, it was thought an ad- > manner ;— " We receive with i»ieasure your 
dress to the nation should be prepared : that i assurance uf co-o])eratin(;; witli us for a retbrm 
is not immaterial, because you will find after- | in parliament, an object to which all our 
wards, that the project of a national conven- I endeavours tend, and on which our hearts are 
tion in Scotland was thought by many of the { invariably fixed ; but as your declaration that 
members ot it, and many of the members of you will not pledge yourselves to demand 
those bodies, to have failed for want of such universal suffrage and annual parliaments, ia 
a pevious address to the nation ; and upon followed by no specific plan of reform of your 
this occaiioii two gentlemen are brought 
togetbery I do not know whether one of them 


* See his Uial, 4. n. 1796^ infri. 

55 GEORGE U!. 

bwii» wc are under some difficulty h6w to 
coDcJude ; perhaps, as ttrangerSf you write to 
fit mth that prudent re$ert€ which is some- 
times necessary, nnd thai idea receives strengtii 
from your appearing afterwards convinced 
that the common object of the two societies is 
the same, which W(i readily admit ; but, as 
mutual confidence is the basis of union, and 
Ibc only rational pledge and support for co- 
operative exertion, we trust your next will do 
kway every difficulty. 

" With respect to universal sufiiuge and 

n r ' irfiaments, a mature convictioD of 

i I e and necessity for the preservation 

oi jujiiiv and prosperity to the great body of 

the people^ and for securing the independence 

^ parliinent, was our primary inttnrement 

'MMldbte. We therefore candidly assure 

VVttt these our principles, as already an- 

] nounccd to the public^ remain immutable^ 

Unconnected with any party whatever : we can 

insider no reform radical, but such as will 

tSitabVe cver>' indiiridual of the community to 

[ enjoy the advantages thereof equally with our- 

wves ; fur, if ignorance of the nature of 

emmcnt, or the merits of the candidates, 

I argument against universal suffrage, as 

opponents pretend, llic same reasons 

l^ould equally incapacitate a great majority 

rlif those who now enjoy that pnvilc£;e, to the 

["^xchision of very many thousands, much 

I l>cttcr informed tbnn themselves ; not to men- 

Ition tluit, under a more equalized mode of 

iovcrnmeot, the people would be at once in- 
^ uced and cmpowcfca to improve themselves 
useful knowledge. In a word, we know 
f principle, consist4*nt with justice or reason, 
|%y which we could exclude conscientiously 
[ft' < the community from an equality 

] c ;iid privileges, which eve^ member 

161 i^LKJciy^ as he contributes to its support, 
light equally to enjoy. 
•* With respect to annual parliaments, we 
^ill just remark, that good members may be 
fr-^i. ...1 whilst twelve months we think 
^ lent for the welfare of millions to 

J ,,.. .^1 the mercy of a bad representative, 
lliivin^ thus imeqm vocally stated our princi- 

Iih-^j wc shall conclude by observing, that the 
ui\ just passed in Ireland is of a natui-e to 
awaken the of every friend to freedom 
lind huraaruty — will render every exertion 
Justifiable, sliould a similar attack upon con- 
•litutional freedom be attempted here." 
In October 1793, th<5 Scotch Corrvcnlion 

1 r ,",'■,'.;, 1 *, ■ , i*' r 1; . [leard 

l^'. ',ur,« 

to I who 

V . Muuki ,iiju i .iunds 

• i'l, by the London 

( iM flYtrnnrfTcriary 

ii ..iteJ, 

a* ' '. ' i '■ ' —•.•-, the 

atjlity and pfopnetj i; delegates to 


Trhlo/TltQmat Ilard^ 


a convention of delegates of the different 
societies in Great Britain, at Ediobtirfh, for 
purpose of obtamti^ a p&rliarnentary 


Upon the ^Blh of October 1793, tliH socirty 
came to a resolution to send delegates to that 
conventiori, and the two persons eiected were 
Mr, Sinclair and Mr, Yorkc ; and perhaps oiie 
cannot state a more striking instance of the 
extraordinary^ power of a small society* affi. 
lialiog iisell with societies, spread all ovcrtlic 
whole kingdom, than by stating thai SincHir, 
who was deputed from this society, meeiihg 
with tAher clele^ates in Scotland, had no dJ^ 
culty of assuming with others the title of a 
delegate to the British Convention — lt> assert 
their right to do acts in contradiction to the 
legislature — than by telling you tliat tht> 
Yorkc and Sinclair were deputed from thi» 
society by 3 poll, in which he, whu had the 
majonty, had seventeen votes only; Mr. 
Yorke and Mr. Sinclair are accordingly sent 
down, and they go with all the delegation ol' 
the power of the people^ which this Constitu- 
tional Society, thus aflilialed, could glrc 
them, and what they thought it v, : viH 

see presently, — ^The Ijonaon €« ng 

Society was not to be backward hi lormmg 
this Convention in Scotland— and, aceor- 
d'mgly, you will sec in the evidence, whicb % 
have to stale to you, a considerable deal of 
contrivance on l!ie part of the prisoner at tlie 
bar, in order to bring about that convmtioa 
in Scotland; for, eeutlenicn. hr wril/'s % 
letter to the Norwich Const) *>', 

which deserves your very Tr< ,11, 

in which he expresses himself tiiUi»— "^ W^ 
have to acknowledge, at once, your (Hvmtrs «cf 
the 3rd of September and 1 4th instant; 
rnullipUcitv of birsiness prevented my answer- 
ing your first, but will nowinforn' 'lat 
the S|»irit, shown in it, gave great la 
to our society at large. The rejoicm^^ mjt ih© 
capture of Valenciennes were not con£ned t6 
Norwich alone : the ignorant every ^' ^*' "^^ Hj^e 
throughout tlie nation betrayed Ih I* 
hty on the occasion — the taking 14 ^ 1 ,.ti, 
the slaughtering of thousjinds of human 
beings, the laying waste whole provinces, or 
the enslaving a nation (however great tfih 
they may be), can only retard for a $ma!l 
space of time the progress of tnnh afid 
reason. Be not disheartened therefore ; punwt 
your plan, instruct mni m- 
tionaliy set your faces a.: - ; 
be assured tliat many are our t!/ iq 
only wait a favoixrttble opportttnit , if 
join us, while our cnem-- h- > 
feebled themselves and r 
arbitrary exertions; dtsi-,*,.*.* *. .,» a, <<i^^ 
gasp— one or two campaigns more will leflHH 
minate its eicthtpncc. ^^1 

** We 10 fipc that you hrg^'tO 

ra«kc a c of fJck«^.tt!on : niitm 

bodies 01 1- 

vened en . , , ^ 

the befttf aud ludt^cd liit^ ouly wa^ la vlrbAiQ 


fw High Trtastrii, 

A. D. I'm. 


lite giiflcraJ ofimi on . Scot lund^ impro vi ng o q 
U19 id^N^ bsve not only fKmmooed their owo 
deletes, but also iuvite those o( every other 
iocactv lo altt-nd a kind of amvention" (as if 
M^ lufdy knew nothing about it), ** which is 
Ib lie hfcid at Edintjiif gh on the 2t)th instant 
•*|lie cudcocd paper^ vfhkh t, previous to 
ikm commyiiicatiDz >otjr letter to our com- 
(wlii-'^ -:^' Tiieet only lo-morrow)» 
i» to you, will show you 
_- .kiiludedio thegeiural in- 
dclcgytcri ti» that meetings 
vnii tu do. if you pos!>ibty 
■ 'tir society will not miss 
.\\g I lie same." 
I that, upon the 5lh of 
, who wrote this letter 
•u' rote to Skirving in tliis way 

L' I peruse your favour of the 
Sad m^tiiit, but» as yet» have seen nor heard 
of the two co|»i<*!i of Mr. Muir^s* 
Ls being aeni to the 
kiQd enough, nol- 
^j^cuUeinan thanks 
id aasiue him that 
*.»i.i ' ^ ''v '»^ T to free- 

mrli that oiir 

!»»>, I J ;-^sors of 

Will or afraid of 

th* I v_ i c inta ciecu- 

■'The Geofral Couvrntion^ which you roea- 

ntkc h&tt 

fiMMi lo tend 

cui; t 

Kow yon 


fir hi. 

11. -' '^""^^ 
llliBA^efy « 

ifkimli^ iO cur A 

Hi MM a di I 

4 (to wboni alone 
. letter} and myself 
uic^ihure, and as tuch^ I 
ifiiJif, to ctnnmuukate U 
rtut unjf ma^i men" 
to me pnwiUefy — 
liould require us 
mectio!^, I have 
M,i.i.> >>i.Hid> witit picsisurc, 
lun ; and I aiu ptr^uadt:d it 
puud.— Hur Irtvdom^ as you 
depend»i eutircly upon our- 
1; mod vfioD our av;idui^ ourselves of 
tiiili^portiinityy whicli^ oticc lost, nmy not be 
|9f0vered »o »ooo. I am glad to diMiover by 
Mf iMCtfOotiv tiiat I was by no ways mis- 
mIm Ifi th*i nijE^h opinion I always had of 
M Dsn a title may be a bar 

t0 4bib.r lisiu, but it seems he 

Itai* rvjii I Mo t'6 an iuHuperable one. 

** i 1 ,11- :;-^«t; ills true, that we have 
kM Mioibcs gciACfml nu r t - .. 1 . i. i.^^^ 

%4)Mia0Maiid BuJM ss 

ioteuOgV)'^'- '""^'' >,..,,., ^.,,. ..^,ccd 

tdNfltfefitr l rcvisul, the 

f kdm J • i 1 1-nalui t'd than 

> li€iLjg too 
itton of 
itd ano- 
^^iUf and relating 
you have a copy 

_, Hie Ci>:i 
tMf |& the ««r 

of It; %ut you was II ^iwaa 

told we passed any r' itmg^ 

for we only came to uue, and it ml lalher of 1 
private nature, namely, thut the conduct c 
sir James Sanderson, in pi ^ the mee 

ingof the Loudon Corrv society, 

the Ulobe tavern, Fleet sircclj was of sucfc 
a nature tjs to plate him below our censure." 

Gentlemen, the London Constitutional f 
ciety ^ve their dclegitles, Mr. Yorke and Mn 
Sinclair, certain instructions: and I ougb' 
here to teli you, by way of explaining th 
effect of what 1 am now to state, thai th 
manner of keeping the books of llie Londo 
CoustilulioniU Society, as I understand it, wa 
this — The resolutions, ra;ide upon one nigh'^ 
were taken upon loose minutes, either by tbt 
secretary, or by other persons, who acted in hir 
absence, or in his presence, when he was noL 
doino^that duty himself: tbey were entered, b<»f] 
fore the subsequent night of meeting, rcgularlj 
in the book, and the tirst thing done upon th^ 
subsequent night of meeting w*aslo read thfl 
resolutions which wene made upon the forracy] 
night, and to see that they were correct : no^pjl 
it will naturally occur that the minutes ma/j 
explain the book, and the book may explaia 
the mmntes : now, when tliey come to dran 
llic minutes, which you wdl have for the in<«J 
strijction of their dele^tcsata conventional 
which was to be held m Scotland, the 6rs|| 
idea was, to instruct those delegates'to petition 
parliamcnl; but they seem lo liave recoLlcctedi 
thai that was a measure, which had beefij 
abandoned some months before by all the so 
cieticB with whom they were affiliated : they 1 
therefore struck out of their minutes the pur* 1 
pose of applying to parliament, and they ^endJ 
instructions in these words t * J 

*^ The delegates are instructed, on the parb 
of the society, to assist m bringing forwanll 
and supporting any coublituiional measures J 
for procuring a real representation of the ] 
Commons of Great Britain in parliament— J I 
that, in specifying the redress lo be demanded] 
of existing abuses, the delegates ought nevc^l 
to lose sight of the two essential principles^ j 
general suffrage and annual representation^] 
together with tlie unalienable right in thai 

1>eople to reform, and that a reasonable and , 
mown compensation ought to be made to< | 
t b f t utatives of the nation by a national ^ 

' rj," What they meant by the re* ^ 

pf I tz nituti't^i of the nation, after what I havo | 
already read to you, 1 think you cannot pos* | 
sibly mistake^ 

The London Corresponding Society ar^( 
somewhat boJder in the instructions, which 
they send with their delegates lo the conven-i ^ 
lion in Scotland : yoti will bud these instruc* | 
t ions are to the folio win|t eflTccl;— By article 
the 1st, the delegnte h instnicted " thai h«r j 

the ..^ 


sentatives in parliament ought to be paid by 
their com titucDts. 

" 7th. That it is the duty of the people" 
— •nowy gentlemen, I beg your attention to 
this ; it 18 U)e principle, upon which the con- 
vention in Scotland was formed, and upon 
which it acted : '' That it is the duty of the 
people to resist any act of parliament, repug- 
nant to the original principles of the constitu- 
tion, as would DO every attempt to prohibit 
associations for the purpose of reform." 
- Gentlemen, there is no government in this 
country, if this principle is to be acted upon, 
because nobody can tell to what extent it will 

§0 ; and accordingly ^ou will see that these 
elegates, who went into Scotland, with this 
authority in their hands, carried the autho- 
rity far beyond the resistance, which they 
were authorized to make according to the 
principles here laid down, and they state a 
great variety of cases, all approved afterwards 
both by the London Corresponding, and the 
Constitutional Society, in which Uie people, 
and the convention of the people, were to re- 
sist parliament. 

Gentlemen, these societies having sent de- 
kgates to the convention in Scotland, I pro- 
fit now to state that the acts of that con- 
vention, to the extent at least to which the 
delegates from this country were authorized to 
act. are evidence against those who sent them 
and therefore against the persons here in- 
dicted. But fartlier, they communicated to 
the societies here, particularly to the prisoner 
at the bar, their acts ; and the societies here, 
in distinct resolutions, acting upon considera- 
tion, approved their whole conduct : they 
therefore made that conduct of their delegates 
in the convention in Scotland, whether it was 
apecable to the original authority which was 
pven them, or not, their own ; they adopted 
U by giving it their subsequent approbation. 

Gentlemen, you will find, first of all, that 
Uiey received a letter from the Sheffield So- 
ciety, affiliating with them, in which it was 
proposed to determine like Knglishmen. 

After receiving a great deal of other corres- 
pondence, which I will not trouble you with 
reading, the societies here prepare to send de- 
legates to Scotland. Mr. Skirving sent a cir- 
cular letter upon the arrival of the English de- 
legates to the delegates of all the associations 
in Scotland, which were extremely numerous, 
and very widely extended ; and 1 think the 
delegates of these dift'erent societies came to- 
gether to the number of one hundred and 
eighty. After sitting some time, Mr. Mar- 

SJTot, you will find, who was the delegate of 
e London Corres^vondine Society, represents 
to the hody there met — *• That the societies in 
London were very numerous, though some- 
times iluctuating ; that in some part of Eng- 
land whole towns are reformers: that in Shef- 
field suod the environs there are fifty thousand ; 
that in Norwich there are thirty societies in 
one : thai if they could set a convention of 
j£nglaii4 and Scotlaodcialedy they might re- 

Trfal of Thomai Hardy 


present six or seven hundred thousand males, 
which is a majority of all the adults in the 
kingdom .'^ 

You will find Mr. Margarot moves, that, 
previous to publishing an address to the public 
a committee should m appointed to consider 
the means, and draw up a plan of general 
imion and co-operation — ^between what^ Not 
between any societies in the two nations, but 
a plan of general union and co-operation 
between the two natiom. In their constitutional 
pursuit of a theory of parliamentary re- 
form, thev style.themsclves a convention, and 
this, gentlemen,* is extremely material tor you 
to attend to ; they style themselves, ^ The 
British Convention of the delegates of the 
people associated to obtain universal suffirage 
and annual parliaments.'' Then I alk what 
is a convention of the people according to 
these societies ? Accordmg to the proceed- 
ings in Scotland, a convention of the people is 
a convention of the delegates from tnese so- 
cieties in England and Scotland. 

They assert that the people have in them all 
civil and political autnority; and they, re- 
peatedly, again and again, from the moment 
that this convention was formed in Scotland 
to the moment of its dispersion, more especi- 
ally at the time of its dispersion, more espe- 
cially still from the time of its dispersion till 
the time of a meeting on the '^oth of January, 
at the Globe tavern; and on the 27th of 
March, when another convention was pro- 
posed, as I stated at the outset, they repeat- 
edly and in the most pressing terms state that 
now or never was the time, when the people 
were to meet, when they were to act by their 
own force, when they were courageously to 
prepare themselves for the event, and to show 
those whom they called their oppressors and 
plunderers, th:it they were a brave people, in 
wliom valour wa> not extinct. 

Having thus met together, upon the princi- 
ples of the French system, which took place 
on the 10th of August 179^, they proceed di- 
rectly to the French prucliccs, which look 
place then in the National Assciuhly of France, 
took place then because the people of Framed 
were understood to be reprcscnied by a conven- 
tion ; these delegates taking upon theiQselves 
also to he a convention ot the jpeople, they 
instituted Prmury Societiesy they divided the 
country \r\X.o departments^ they appointed pro- 
vincittl auembUen, they have Committees of 
Union f they i\\B.nk\uT patriotic donations^ Xhey 
auumc an epoch, they appoint a Secret Cam" 
mittee to he called together upon extraordi- 
nary emergencies; and upon the 2ttth of No- 
vember 1793, they come to a f^sohition, to 
which 1 must beg your most serious attention. 

Gentlemen of the jury, you will remember 
that they went with authorities, which stated 
to them that it was the duty of the people, 
which |)eople they had taken upon thcmseivesi 
to represent, to resist any act of parliament, 
that should be made for a particular purpose. 
It is hardly, I think, U> be contended, thai the 


for High Treason. 

great bulk of the people of this country, 
happy in their political existence, as undoubt- 
edly they are, remaining happy in their po- 
litical existence, because they do not feel 
^cvanccs (till they are taught by malignant 
industry to believe that they exist), I mean to 
ciich a degree as to call fur measures of this 
sort, could believe that the legislature of the 
country, doing justice to tlie subjects, whom 
it is l>ound to protect, would permit a proceed- ' 
iDg of this kind to go on — yet, gentlemen, 
confidine so much as these persons did in the 
supposed state of their number in that coun- 
try, and of those who were to be connected 
irhh tliem in this, you will find that, upon the 
S8th of November 1793, one of the persons 
belonging to that convention, citizen Sinclair, 
I think, the members all standing up upon 
their feet, for the greater solemnity of the 
thing, proposes this resolution — ** Resolved 
that the following declaration and resolutions , 
be inserted at the end of our minutes—" That 
this convention*' — now if it be possible to say ; 
that any convention means to act as a con- j 
vention of the people, it is that which sets it- 
self above the legislature in the act it is doing 
»-" that this convention, considering the ca- 
lamitous consequences of any act ol the le- 
gislature, which may tend to deprive the | 
whole or any part of the people of their un- 1 
doubted right to meet, cither by themselves ! 
or by delegation, to discuss any matter re- ; 
ktive to their common interest, whether of a ! 
public or private nature, and holding the same { 
to be totally inconsistent with the first prin- 1 
dples and safety of society, and also subver- 
sive of our known and acknowledged consti- 
tutional liberties." — 

Gentlemen, permit me to call your atten- 
tion to this, that this declaration, in its prin- 
ciples, follows the instructions that they had 
received, that, if any attempt was made to | 
bring in a convention bill, they were then to ' 
do so and so. They then proceed thus — •* do I 
declare before God and the world, that we I 
shall follow the wholesome example of former 
times, by piiying no regard to any act, vihich 
shall militate against the constitution of our 
country*'— That is saying, that the will of the 
legislature is not a better judge of what is an 
act against the constitnlion of the country, ' 
than the affiliated clubs at Kdinburgh — ** and > 
shall coiitiiuie to assemble and consider of the 
best means by which we can accomplish a 
real reprebentation of the people," is that a 
parliament r— " and annual ch^ction, until" — 
what ? — ** until compelled to desist by superior 

" And wc do resolve that the first notice 
given" — The hrst notice — parliament is not 
even to discuss the thing ; but, if an intima- 
tion of it is made in parliament — " That the 
firbt notice given for the introduction of a con- 
vention bill, or any bill of a similar tendency to 
that passed in Ireland in the last session of their 
parliaineDt, or any bill for the suspension of 
ibe Uabeas Corpus act^ or the act for prevent- 

A. D. 179*. [346 

ing wrongous imprisonment and against un- 
due delays in trials in North Britun, or in 
case of an invasion** 

Gentlemen, I call back to your recollection 
the letter of Skirving— I call back to your 
recollection not only the letter of Skirving, 
but that the troops of liberty were promised 
to be sent with bayonets and pikes from tlut 
country, which at this moment was likely to 
invade us — ^*' or the admission of any foreign 
troops whatsoever, into Great Britain or Ire- 
land** — If the parliament of this country, for 
the purpose of protecting itself against that 
foreign invasion, had brought these foreign 
troops into Great Britain or Ireland, not 
being the troops of a nation with which we 
were at war, thu convention of the people was to 
act upon the introduction of such foreign troops 
in the same manner as they would act in case 
of an invasion by xhose who were at war with 
us — What is the construction that follows 
upon that ? — that, even if foreign troops, to 
meet the exigence of an invasion, were intro- 
duced — what then ? — " all or any one of these 
calamitous circumstances" — why calamitotis^ 
they might be necessary for the very existence 
of the country — '' shall be a signal to the 
several delegates to repair to such place as 
the secret committee of this convention shall 
appoint, and the first seven members shall 
have power" — to do what ? — to do that ex- 
actly, which a national convention in France 
would do — •* to declare the sittings perma- 
nent'* — why ? Because the duly constituted 
legislature of the country had aared, not to 
do an act, but to entertain a deliberation upon 
doing an act— the first notice was to call toge- 
ther this convention, and being called together, 
their sittings were to be permanent. 

Gentlemen, are the parties to this conven- 
tion in Scotland such men, as would think of 
bringing themselves together to declare their 
sittings permanent upon such a ground as 
thry state here, namely, the legislature of a 
great country acting in the execution of the 
great duties which belong to the legislature 
of that country, without supposing, by that 
solemn declaration, that they could make 
their meeting effectual by the acts which were 
to be carried on for the purpose of preventing 
that le(;islature from deliberating upon such 
duties } By what acts could it be done but by 
exertions, as they style them, in the manner 
of their forefathers, by force ? By affiliated 
societies, exerting their physical strength, 
that physical exertion, which Mr. Banow 
observes is to be preceded or precluded by 
spreading useful knowledge, ana that useful 
knowledge, beinjr that which is to beat down 
the existing authority of King, Lords, and 

** The convention therefore resolve, that 
each delegate immediately on his return home 
do convene his constituents, and explain to 
them the necessity of electing a dele^te or 
delegates, and of establbhing a fund without 
delay, against any of these emet^UDidn^ 

his or Uielr expanse, and that they du instriitt 
t}ie said delegate or delegsitcs to bold tbem* 
delves ready'* 

Gftntlcmen, you sec what they expected 
ftttm the legislature — they knew that what 
they were doiug ought to provoke the legis- 
lature to do \^at they meant to forbid the 
legislature to do : and they instruct their de- 
legate or delegates to hnld themselves ready 
-^** to depart at one hour's warning/* Well 
might Mr^ Skirving say, that a month's dclay^ 
and the whoU icaj W : well might Mr, Hardy 
ftay, what he says in letters f shali produce 
presently, tliat ii^ the opportunity is lost now. 
It is lost for ever — we must act now, or we 
never can. Having some reason tu suppose 
that this convention would be dispersed, they 
lli«n with great solemnity come to another 
resolution : 

" That the moment of any illegal disper- 
Slop of the British Convention bhalT be consi- 
dered as a summons to the delegate5 to re* 
pair to the place of meeting appointed lor 
the convention of emergency by the Secret 
Committee, and that the Secret Committee 
i»c instructed without delay to proceed to bx 
the place of meeting/' Gentlemen, after 
these re^olutiuui) it became necessary to do a 
little more, that is^ to declare upon what prin> 
eiples ibis convention existed. Now mark the 
firuiriple^, and do yonr country justice ; apply 
Fo much of lilt" i^liM iA;tiuinv that T huve TOadfe 
to you, as a to what 

I have hel ±ty con 

nrxion between the i nd practice of 

M r. Pai ne, ai*d of th< ^ 

Gc4itlemen, these^ pnut iples brought toge^ 
ther the French Convention — wliiit is ibe 
practice then, that tlous out ut tlie pnnciple? 
Why, it is the assembling of a cunvcntiou 
iipoQ principles obliging it to sit tor tlie pur- 
pose of declaring that the legislature shall do 
jiotbing but what they liked : that is to all 
intents and purposes a National Convention ; 
if not a convention for an eternal retbrni, at 
least a convention, that prohibits the legiisl^- 
ture to do any thing but whrji^ i^i "^rt^able to 
ibem- Then having met u . Mtion of 

the practice^ they proceed u iy lu the 

declaration of the principle— hut they do not 
proceed to a declaration of the principle, till 
they have done that strong and solemn act« 
which I have staled : then they resolve ** that 
a committee be appointed to dniw up a decla- 
ration" — ^This is rnmcc cx;u:tly*— It is the 
SkHJthw ark Society in 179^— " i * 'lion 
ot the natural imprescriptible n m^ 

and that the fun - ^ ' - '- ' uudrcss 

to the people of < a com^ 

tnittee of observe ii.ju, i.. ,. f,.t.-.. 

e^tctuating the purpose tli 

Mod that they tx)|^l in a ]»Iii£t, 
%vh^b M^^ €4U Cmtentim UaU^ uod^r Uic 

name of the Brkhh Convention, and then they 
arc informed tliat the London Corr'^^r^^^'lm.; 
Society would undertake to be that 
ot)observation, which, they say. on : t 

—and then you will find thiir lin :ii, tnhrrt 
meutioMed that they had thotr atiil> ut inrir 
constituents in Ix^ndon, SheflSeld, Norwji;h, 
Leeds, Sec. and that the convention waa to 
look at itself as iu its true nature a CmnmiUt^ 
of the people— thai therefore it was necessary 
to have, as they have in France. Primary 
Societia, who shall be consulted — in othpr 
wordsp that this committee of the people at 
Edinburgh, which was to overniie the legis- 
laliu'e, was itself to be overruled by tht*e Pri- 
tnary SoiidUf^ these primary societies them- 
selves being overruleo by the leaders of the 
great clubs, from which they emanated, and 
so forming in this country a govemraent, 
under the power of a Jacobin Club, and that 
government destroying the present eiistiDg 
legislature of the kingdom* 

You will also find that, before these persons 
parted, Mr. Margarot communicated to hii 
constituents the proceedings of this body, 
which he styles always the Convcntian nf 1A4 
PojpU associated to obtain annual parli4.- 
ments and universal suffrage. There drf I ^ 
ters which I shall lay before you, wii' 
detailing them, stating that they look